AD: the hiccups of a growing baby

AD: the hiccups of a growing baby

Those who have raised babies can narrate what a nuisance a hiccup is to a baby. The simple reason being that most parents do not know what causes a hiccup and how to effectively treat it. This article likens the problems that are currently rocking the Alliance of Democrats (AD) to a hiccup. The very first major hiccup to throttle baby AD was when in the midst of the preparation of a Leadership Conference, 15 constituencies wrote letters of no confidence in the acting National Executive Committee (NEC).

What was very special about these letters, in the history of political mishaps, was that they were accompanied by a letter from the lawyers that was already promising a court case for the NEC if they do not comply. There is need to point out at this stage that in accordance with Section 3.2.3 (a) of the AD Constitution, a special conference was not possible as the AD at that stage had never held an electoral conference. This too was a hiccup.  However, the committee advised itself to hold an Elective General Conference instead of a special conference.

The elective conference held from 2nd to 4th of March was one of a kind. The delegation committee was so slow in registering constituencies that at noon on Saturday only twenty five constituencies were registered with the committee. The poor registration of constituencies was another major hiccup that baby AD had to endure. Another major hiccup that almost strangled baby AD was when the youth league leader, flanked by a bodyguard with the biggest gun in the hall, took to the stage on a “point of order” and insinuated that the former and current secretary general were power hungry, inconsiderate, self-serving individuals who had no grain of respect for the party leader.

This supposed point of order threw the conference into chaos as some delegates became disruptive and the conference had to be halted. This hiccup could have been dealt with the very next day but alas, nothing was done.

Instead the conference continued as if nothing had happened the next day. It was business as usual as the delegates prepared for voting without listening and deliberating on the secretary general and treasurer’s reports. Needless to say that the constituencies were promised the unread reports, but to this day, we have not seen such reports. Today the hiccup has choked the AD and the party no longer has a Youth League committee. It is surprising to find a party that during election campaigns promised youths manna from heaven now has no structure to help it connect to the same youths.

The AD was a beacon of hope for the youths and young people by promising them 21st century politics. Most parties in Lesotho seem to be stuck in the politics of the 20th century where the burning issue was fighting colonial masters to get political freedom. The AD came up with a different ideology, it was about economic emancipation for the people, especially the youth. When the AD took a bold step and sent two youths to . . . to learn cotton production, that said to the followers now we have a Joshua for the children of Lesotho, the children that have university qualifications that are gathering dust on the shelves, children that are hopelessly roaming the streets with brown envelopes with the hope of being absorbed by the already saturated public service.

We need the AD that was formed by Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki in December 2016, not this shadow that we see today. We need and will fight and continue to fight for the AD that promised youth that their economic situation will change, not by waiting to fight for temporary employment at National Identity and Civil Registration, not by waiting for the public service to absorb them, God knows when, but by assisting them in getting financial assistance to start their own projects.

The current NEC, like the leader pointed out when it was unveiled, is diverse and has capable people that can take it forward and make it a home that all the members have always hoped for. The NEC in its wisdom felt it was necessary to dissolve the youth league committee.  he explanation given by the spokesperson and deputy secretary over the media is in conflict with the message given by party leader at the press conference.

We challenge the NEC to embark on an induction programme for its members. This is because a committee that gives conflicting messages can only be a sign of incompetence or lack of understanding of members duties and responsibilities.

The AD is one party I know that has a pool of educated individuals that can assist in the proposed induction. In fact even in the NEC itself we have people that have special skills that need to be utilised.

For example, the NEC has an individual with expertise in conflict management, a person that could have been used to solve conflicts in the youth league committee instead of dissolving it.

l Kelello Rakolobe is a political activist within the AD. He holds a Masters in Policy Studies and Governance in Education

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