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Resign now, ABC national executive told

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE infighting within the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) is showing no signs of abating with disgruntled members calling on the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to resign.

The disgruntled party supporters who call themselves the Kobo Uncaptured made the call after their attempts to meet the NEC and party leader, Thomas Thabane over their concerns were rebuffed by the NEC.

Among other things, the supporters accuse the party of failing to hold an annual general meeting for the past years and failing to provide reports on the state of the party’s finances for the last five years.

They also say that the deployment of senior party officials like the secretary general to cabinet have impacted negatively on the smooth running of the party.

ABC secretary general Samonyane Ntsekele is the Minister of Water.

The disgruntled group has suggested the election of the interim NEC to run the affairs of the party until the elective conference that is scheduled for January 2019.

“The situation is now so dire that that the risk of our government collapsing grows daily under the current NEC and as members of the ABC, we have to work towards removing the NEC to safeguard this government that was fought so hard for,” Reverend Phakiso Motaung said on behalf of the disgruntled group members.

“It is in the party’s best interest for the current NEC to step down and call for a special conference to elect an interim NEC that will take the party to the January 2019 elective conference.”

The group said despite their repeated pleas, they had so far been prevented from meeting Dr Thabane to present their grievances “which are in fact the grievances of the masses”.

“Unfortunately our requests (to meet Dr Thabane) have been repeatedly rebuked. A number of us then made the difficult decision to take our grievances which are in fact the grievances of the party masses, to the public through radio and social media,” Rev Motaung said.

He said although they had been given an audience by the party’s secretary general Mr Ntsekele, the current situation in the party was “indicative of an intransigent NEC”.

“The party has not had an AGM in the past four years and as members we have not been given financial reports for the past five years.

“Most of the NEC members have been deployed to the government as cabinet ministers including the secretary general who is the backbone of the party’s activities.

“Negative impacts have clearly surfaced as a consequence of these deployments and these are that the role of the NEC and particularly the SG in driving the party’s growth through daily activities has been severely hampered such that the party is effectively operating without the NEC.

“Secondly there is a conflict of interest in so far as the NEC members who are in the government have been failing to hold the government to account for its failure to implement the party’s vision in government.”

The group said the party risked losing members as well as losing the trust of the electorate due to the failure to fully implement electoral promises.

The Thomas Thabane-led ABC is the main coalition partner in the four party government that came to power in the aftermath of the 3 June 2017 elections.

The other parties in the coalition are the reformed Congress of Lesotho, the Basotho National Party and the Alliance of Democrats.

“As a leading party within the current coalition, we have simply failed to live up to our promises to the electorate. Instead of our party growing, it is actually declining, and for this, the responsibility lies with our NEC,” the group said.

However, ABC spokesperson Tefo Mapesela told the Sunday Express that the group must “go to their constituencies and then to their branches, which will in return call a special conference to topple the NEC”.

“They are in no position to tell the NEC to step down. They should follow the procedure,” adding that the group’s claims that the party had not held AGMs and failed to account for its finances for several years were not true.

Of late, there have been fissures and tensions within the ABC.  Early this month, legislator and former minister of health, Nyapane Kaya, attacked the party and the government for reneging on promises to uproot corruption.

Mr Kaya said that he was “frustrated that the government which was elected into power for its promises to uproot corruption is no longer practicing what it preached”.

Last month, ABC chairperson Motlohi Maliehe addressed a rally in his Butha-Buthe constituency where he attacked the First Lady, Maesaiah Thabane, accusing her of exerting undue interference in party and government affairs.

 

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