Sekatle booed

Sekatle booed

MASERU – WHEN Semano Sekatle defected from the Democratic Congress (DC) party to join the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party late last year, he was soon rewarded with a plum ministerial post.
But that decision to ditch the DC and join the ABC appears not to have received universal endorsement from people at the grassroots in his Lebakeng constituency in Qacha’s Nek.
Some saw it as the ultimate act of betrayal and have therefore never forgiven him.
That sentiment was clearly on display when Sekatle “tested” the waters for the first time when he came face-to-face with the voters two weeks ago.

The people in his constituency gave him a cold shoulder when he returned, and they made their disgust at his move known by brandishing the DC’s regalia.
Sekatle was appointed Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture after he defected to the ABC. Currently he is Minister of Public Service.
He had been elected Lebakeng MP under the ticket of the main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) in 2017.
His crossing to the ABC triggered a fierce furore in the DC.
When he returned home a fortnight ago, there was no warm welcome. Some DC members who, instead of wearing the ABC’s regalia now associated with their MP, put on their DC attire.

He was roundly booed as he addressed the Matebeng people, trying to entice them to vote for him under the ABC flag.
Qacha’s Neck district has three constituencies which have over the years been won by the Congress parties.
But Sekatle told thepost that he was warmly welcomed by people in Matebeng, although “a few” are unhappy about his move.
“That is normal,” he said.
“It happens everywhere that when you lobby people to support you not all of them would buy into your proposal,” Sekatle said.
He stressed that it was only a handful of people who showed hostility towards him. The majority, he said, applauded his move to join the ABC.
But the scenes said otherwise.

Some DC members wearing their party’s attire bluntly told Sekatla that they did not like his move.
This, analysts said, might mean that Sekatle may face a stiff challenge in the constituency in the next election.
Sources that spoke to thepost on condition of anonymity said after Sekatle moved to join the ABC, he delegated his constituency committee to engage infuriated DC members in Matebeng to soften them.
But they were chased away by Congress die-hard supporters in the area.
The committee was sent just to test the waters for Sekatle, the sources said.

Sekatle is still moving around different branches in his constituency to lobby support from the electorate who have known him for years.
During the 2015 National Assembly elections, Sekatle was the most voted for MP in the country, garnering more than 6 000 votes.
He articulated a list of longstanding issues that made his stay in the DC untenable when he left the party.

Majara Molupe


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