19 MPs want expulsions withdrawn

19 MPs want expulsions withdrawn

MASERU – AT least 19 MPs from the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) want party leader, Thomas Thabane, to rescind his decision to expel four members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Those who were expelled from the party last week are deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao, Samuel Rapapa, ’Matebatso Doti and Montoeli Masoetsa.
The MPs are also pushing for Thabane’s ouster from the leadership of the party.
The demand to reverse the expulsions was made at a press conference by the Professor Mahao camp at the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) in Maseru on Monday.
The bold demand represents the clearest indication that the gloves are finally off in the ABC as the two factions fight it out for political supremacy.

The Berea MP, Motlatsi Maqelepo, said they want the fired members to be reinstated to their positions.
Mahao is the party’s deputy leader while Rapapa the chairman, Doti the deputy spokeswoman while Masoetsa is the spokesman.
The MPs are from Mechachane, Berea, Malibamatšo, Mosalemane, Peka, Thaba-Tseka, Taung, Mphosong, Lithabaneng, Thaba-Bosiu, Mabote, Likhoele, Mohale’s Hoek, Maputsoe, Bobatsi, Makhoroana, Pela-Tšoeu, Koro-Koro and Mantšonyane constituencies.
Maqelepo said as MPs, they have been following the process of the NEC’s elections from the beginning and they have seen how badly Prof Mahao has been treated under the pretext that he did not qualify for the ABC deputy leadership.

He said days after the NEC results were announced, some ABC members launched a case arguing the results had been rigged.
Maqelepo said they approached Thabane in his capacity as party leader to intervene but to no avail.
Maqelepo said the decision to expel these NEC members came immediately after the court had ruled in favour of Mahao’s camp.
He said the reasons for expelling the members were not clear as the rallies were called by constituencies not individuals.

He said Thabane should fire the constituencies not the individuals.
Maqelepo said they elected the new committee so that amongst other assignments, it could help the party have clear policies to help it grow.
They also wanted the new committee to help Thabane monitor all civil servants who work under the ABC.
He gave Thabane a three-day ultimatum to reverse his decision citing that it is against the ABC Constitution.
“We want these members to come and help the government with advice on issues like the wool and mohair (saga),” Maqelepo said.

He said the expelled members must come back and help the government solve an array of grievances concerning the police, teachers, poor service delivery.
They are also not happy with the fact that some jobs were being parceled out to the Chinese while Basotho are starving.
He said the new committee members will also take part in advising the government on how to deal with corruption, misuse of funds on international trips and lack of jobs, amongst other critical issues.
Maqelepo said as MPs they had failed to help ministers address most of the challenges impeding the government’s performance.
He said if ministers still fail to deliver, the committee will advise the Prime Minister to expel them.
He said they have now grown impatient with how their leader is dealing with the party’s affairs and the government at large.

“We ask him to resign as the Prime Minister and if he does not reverse the members’ dismissals within three days, we will carry on with the motion of no confidence,” Maqelepo said.
He said they will also go to the courts to push for the re-opening of Parliament.
Mechachane MP Nyapane Kaya said 60 constituencies had asked for a special conference which is slated for July 6.
Kaya said they were stunned by Thabane’s response when he said he was not aware that there were some NEC members who had been fired when he was quizzed about the issue at a SADC summit in Mozambique last week.
But that question came exactly after he dismissed them at Metcash Complex, he said.
Kaya said Thabane should resign so that the country and the party can be saved.

He said they think the resistance to hand over power to the new committee is caused by irregularities and corruption done by the old committee.
Thaba-Tseka MP Mamoipone Senaoane said they do not understand why Thabane is not allowing the new committee to take over.
She said they once called him and asked why he dislikes the new committee and he did not answer their question and they left.

Nkheli Liphoto


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