The beginning of the end for ABC

The beginning of the end for ABC

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), the largest political party in Lesotho decided to subject its national chairperson, Motlohi Maliehe, to party disciplinary processes for comments said to be “public attacks” on the First Lady.
If the comments being referred to are the same ones I heard on an audio clip of a speech he gave at a rally in Butha-Buthe, then I am not sure what his party finds objectionable with what he said.
There is nothing wrong with talking passionately and honestly about the current state-of-affairs in the ABC at an ABC rally as an ABC leader.

I also see nothing wrong with him mentioning endemic corruption in the government and calling that it be rooted out. There is also nothing wrong with expressing very strongly his unhappiness about what he alleges is meddling in party and government affairs by the First Lady.

As a senior leader in the ABC and Government, he is well within his rights to lament and condemn things he sees as wrong.
To me, the whole disciplinary thing is a farce. It fact, it raises in me two contradictory emotions simultaneously – worry and excitement.
I worry for the country because Ntate Maliehe tells ABC supporters at the rally that the First Lady chairs Cabinet meetings at State House. When an allegation this serious is made by such a senior political leader and a Cabinet minister (an insider and not a mad man from the street), it cannot and should not be taken lightly.

If the First Lady (an unelected individual) is indeed chairing cabinet meetings (the apex seat of power in a constitutional democracy) as alleged, this means the state has been captured. The legitimate leader of the people has been replaced by someone not elected by the people. This is worrying.

That the Government has not rebutted this very serious allegation confirms to most people that Ntate Maliehe is on the money on this. If this were a lie, then the Government would have challenged his utterances the moment they were made. This was not done.

Moving on to the other emotion I said I feel – excitement. This is of course when spinning this whole sordid affair positively.
I am excited to have been proven wrong that not all politicians are spineless. Ntate Maliehe has shown that he has the balls to confront head-on the elephant in the room. He speaks frankly about an issue no other leader inside the ABC has the guts to talk about.

He goes straight to the heart of the matter. He identifies the cause of the divisions inside the ABC. He vocalises sentiments secretly held by many who love “Kobotata” but lack the courage to speak up because they are afraid i.e. the First Lady and unscrupulous characters surrounding her have hijacked the people’s movement.
He condemns this and reminds his supporters that Kobotata belongs to the people. It is not the property of a single individual who can do with it as they like.
I admire his courage and forthrightness. These are qualities we need to see more of in those in leadership positions in this country.
To me, this Maliehe saga is a typical case of shooting the messenger and not attending to the problem.

For the Government not to have reacted to the allegation that the First Lady chairs Cabinet meetings, was a serious error that has eroded the confidence and trust of most people in the leadership and future of this country. That’s the first problem. The second problem is that many people who held out hope for a better Lesotho under the ABC, no longer harbour that hope. Their party seems to have changed. The beginning of the end for a movement much loved by Basotho has now started.

Instead of self-correcting and reversing this downward spiral, the people’s movement is intent to push out their contrarian national chairperson for calling it out as it is.
When will they learn?

By; Poloko Khabele

Previous Resist taking populist route
Next Muckraker: The education of Maliehe

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