Pride comes before a fall!

Pride comes before a fall!

I have been following with keen interest recent developments between the two warring factions in the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party. What I find most bizarre is the level of arrogance shown by both sides.
Both factions believe they command the majority of the ABC followers and are beginning to behave like newbies in Lesotho politics. They forget that the moment they split no faction will ever be the same.

The signs of the collapse of Lesotho’s currently largest party are evident. Just like its predecessors, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy and the Democratic Congress, the ABC is like a horse waiting for the last kick.
I have mentioned in previous articles that no party factions have ever been remedied through courts of laws. All the major splits in Lesotho’s political parties were preceded by incessant court cases, with factions battling for the control of the party.
What has been at the centre of all the major parties’ splits has always been the inability of leaders to promote peace and stability. Lesotho’s political leaders are notorious for harbouring factionalism within their parties. We have seen this practice happen many times before the birth of new congress parties.
Those that follow the ABC have always believed that Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is a different kind of leader. The ABC members have been known for their popular saying that “Thabane o hlotse pelo eaka” (loosely translated, what Thabane has achieved is beyond comprehension).

This saying has been the anthem of the ABC supporters and has only started to be unpopular recently. What seems to have infuriated some ABC members was Thabane’s brazen attack on Professor Mahao whom he called a dirty rag in the run-up to February’s elective conference.
These utterances infuriated some of the stern followers of the party. Some stalwarts began questioning the ability of their leader to be at the helm of such a big movement.
Nowadays Thabane is always reminding his supporters at his rallies that he has worked for the government for too long. He says he now qualifies for a pension.
Like a true pensioner, Thabane no longer cares about the complaints of disgruntled members of his party. Pride has consumed the ABC leader so much that he does not care that some of his followers are holding parallel political rallies.

The ABC leadership seems to have not learned anything from the mistakes committed by the congress that led to their downfall. Thabane’s ABC is following in the steps of the LCD and the DC without any worry that this will lead to the party’s demise.
The current leaders of the ABC seem to be oblivious to the events that led to the downfall of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe. Mugabe lost touch with the Zimbabweans because he became a proud man. He let his wife meddle in the affairs of his party.

Those mistakes are affecting the ABC now. The attack of the Minister of Sports Dr Mahali Phamotse by the First Lady at Setsoto Stadium last weekend is another sign of a leadership that is too proud. The embarrassing chaos that happened at the stadium is a sign that we have a leadership crisis in the country.
In addition, the heckling and near fist-fight allegedly directed at Mabote MP, Fako Moshoeshoe, in the presence of the ABC leader is another sign of a leadership that is dogged by problems.
The drama around Moshoeshoe happened at his Mabote constituency rally where he was expected to table the problems of his people. It is very sad that even in these trying times the ABC leader and Prime Minister appears not to give a hoot about what is happening within his own party.
The only issue that he appears to be concerned with is that he has qualified for his pension and as such we can all go and jump. The ABC, is the biggest party in Lesotho and has potential to grow even bigger.

However, the way they seem to be conducting their business nowadays will lead to one way only and that is the demise of the party. The signs of the downfall of this government are now very clear. Some of the events that led to the downfall of the second coalition government are already visible in this government.
The leaking of high profile audio clips is one such sign of an ailing government. The allegations of soliciting of bribes by the Ministers from the youth members of the ABC are another issue that indicates that the government is doomed.
Unfortunately, the downfall of the ABC means the end of the coalition government and another snap election. I just wish the ABC leadership can introspect and stop being too proud for the benefit of this country.
It is time for Thabane to mediate in an honest way between the warring factions in his party without prejudice and favour. It is also upon the coalition partners to sincerely advise their colleagues to be humble when dealing with national issues. The pride that our leaders are currently displaying will not benefit the country at all.

Kelello Rakolobe

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