TRUTH Reconciliation Unity (TRU) deputy leader, Pitso Maisa was yesterday heckled by All Basotho Convention (ABC) supporters during the announcement of nominated candidates for the Motimposo Constituency ahead of the 3 June national elections.
The elections were announced by His Majesty King Letsie III in the aftermath of last month’s successful parliamentary no confidence motion by the opposition bloc against the seven parties’ coalition government headed by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of the Democratic Congress (DC) party.
Mr Maisa who is the outgoing legislator for Motimposo, will contest the elections under the TRU banner.
This follows his defection from the ABC along with TRU leader Tlali Khasu early this year.
And yesterday, ABC supporters vented their disapproval by heckling Mr Maisa who had been asked to speak on behalf of the nominated candidates.
He was heckled despite pleas from the ABC candidate, Thabang Mafojane to accord him the respect he deserved as a politician and legislator.
“I ask you to accord ntate Maisa the respect he deserves. Despite the political differences, he is still one of us and he is going to address all of us on behalf of every candidate,” Mr Mafojane said.
His pleas however, fell on deaf ears as the ABC supporters heckled Mr Maisa when he walked towards the seats prepared for the candidates.
Immediately after this, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Returning Officer, Shale Majara asked the supporters to exercise tolerance.
“We need to respect one another and if a person whom you don’t like or have a problem with stands here, please respect them and avoid booing them,” Mr Majara said.
It was only after Mr Majara’s intervention that the ABC supporters relented and allowed Mr Maisa to proceed with his speech.
Addressing the audience which included a handful of TRU supporters, Mr Maisa said he had been mandated to ask supporters to accept the June 3 poll results.
He also requested the electorate to ensure that their names appeared on the voters’ list so that they would be eligible to vote.
“Please be tolerant of each other and if you step on one another’s toes, immediately apologise. It is not cowardice to apologise,” Mr Maisa said.
Speaking with the Lesotho Times on the sidelines of the event, Mr Maisa said “my heart is bleeding because I am going into the election to compete against a party that I was part of at its formation”.
He however said that did not mean that he had already thrown in the towel.
“I am going to fight until the last day and the only party I am going into a political war with on election day is ABC,” he said.
Asked if he was worried by the low number of TRU supporters who accompanied him, Mr Maisa said yesterday’s attendance was not a true reflection of each party’s support base.
“I am as dangerous as an overflowing river – silent but dangerous,” he said.
Below is the full list of the 30 candidates for Motimposo Constituency:
Maisa (TRU), Mafojane (ABC), Matumelo Mosala (AD), Benard Moremoholo (DC), Thabiso Lechesa (MEC), Motlatsi Mpobole (BNDP), Rethabile Mahase (PFD), Sebabatso Moqhobai (MFP), Puseletso Phatela (Independent), James Maqelepo (Baena), Matsepiso Mareka (RCL), Malikhang Ntisa (LWP), Mateboho Lebajoa (MDM), Makunutu Mohapi (NIP), Mamosetse Selloane (BCP), Limpho Nchake (LPC) and Mary Setimela (ADC).