Factional fights have no real winners

Factional fights have no real winners

AT some point, the warring factions in the All Basotho Convention (ABC) will realise that the politics of factions has no real winner.
Whoever will control the ABC after this bruising battle will inherit a wounded party that has haemorrhaged both goodwill and supporters painstakingly amassed over more than a decade.
Rebuilding the broken party will not be a walk in the park.
They will see that they have destroyed the same party they sought to lead.
Whoever leaves the ABC will realise that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.
If they decide to go on their own, they will have the unenviable task of building a new party from scratch in a congested political landscape.

If they cross to another party they will be treated like guests or desperate squatters looking for a new home after destroyed their own.
Because of their legacy in the ABC, they will never be fully embraced or trusted in the new party.
History has shown that factionalism is the bane of Lesotho’s politics.
The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) hobbles today because of factions that tore it apart.
It has never been the same since former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosilili left to form the Democratic Congress (DC).
Its numbers have been whittled to the extent that the former ruling party is now one of the minor parties.
There is no doubt that the LCD is poorer without Selibe Mochoboroane who acrimoniously left to form the Movement for Economic Change.

The Reformed Congress of Lesotho surely nicked some supporters from the LCD.
The DC itself is out power because of divisions.
It has never recovered since former deputy leader Monyane Moleleki left to form the Alliance of Democrats. It is not a coincidence that the Basotho Congress Party (BCP), the mother of nearly all congress parties in Lesotho, has sunk into oblivion.
So noxious is factionalism that you can say the LCD’s long stay in power after it split from the BCP was a fluke unlikely to be replicated anytime soon.
There is ample evidence that factions don’t make parties stronger.

Unfortunately, the factions in the ABC don’t seem to have learned this salient lesson.
The consequences of the factional fights in the ABC go beyond the party itself and its leaders.
For several months leader, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane seems to have devoted much of his energy to the fights.
Some of his ministers have neglected their national duties to fight the battles.
As a result, government business has suffered and so too have the people of this country.
The economy is wobbling, businesses are shutting down and labour unrest has intensified.

The future of this coalition government is uncertain and the reforms are stuck.
The fighting in the ABC is probably one of the biggest causes of these problems.
It will probably take a calamity for our politicians to understand that politics is about compromise.
Fights are a natural staple of politics but those who dabble in them should never forget that their core duty is to the people of this country, not their ambitions or vested interests.
Until then they will pursue the pyrrhic victories borne out of the politics of divisions.

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