Knives out for Majoro

Knives out for Majoro

MASERU-KNIVES are out against Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, amid a fresh and aggressive push to oust him.
Pushing for Majoro’s removal is All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who is backed by his son-in-law and the party’s secretary general Lebohang Hlaele.

Party spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa is now in Thabane’s camp and the public face of the plot against Majoro.
Hlaele and Masoetsa were once central figures in deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao’s camp that helped Majoro become prime minister.
The push to remove Majoro has split the ABC’s executive committee right in the middle. In Hlaele and Masoetsa, Thabane seems to have found willing tools to advance his political interests against Majoro. It doesn’t appear as if Thabane wants to return as prime minister.

Hlaele too cannot be prime minister because he is a senator.
It appears that the game plan is to replace Majoro with a pliable politician they can control.
Hlaele is said to be positioning himself to replace Thabane as party leader. He also wants to contest in the next election so he can be an MP and stand a chance to be prime minister if the ABC prevails.

On Monday Masoetsa told a local radio station that the executive committee had resolved to remove Majoro.
“We do not know how the redeployment will be done,” Masoetsa said, explaining that the committee was unhappy that Majoro doesn’t consult the party on major decisions.

Although they have been nursing a grudge for months, Masoetsa and his camp appear to have been incensed by Majoro’s cabinet reshuffle.
His statements were however refuted as “false” by Mahao during a press conference on Tuesday.
Mahao said the committee had not made such a resolution and accused Masoetsa of spreading lies in the media.

As the battles escalate, the camps look to have taken off their gloves for what is likely to be a long-drawn and brutal fight.
The committee’s meeting on Monday descended into chaos as the camps squabbled over how to handle the Majoro issue.
Two committee members, Sekhonyana Mosenene and Mohlophehi Mohobelo, almost came to blows during the acrimonious meeting that was chaired by Thabane.

A video clip shows Mosenene grabbing Mohobelo by the scuff of the neck before being separated by Thabane who was later hurriedly escorted out of the meeting.
Mosenene later said he was about to pummel Mohobelo.
Mahao told the media that the meeting ended in chaos because they could not agree on the agenda.

Mahao alleged that Hlaele and Masoetsa together with about eight men and women spent the whole of Sunday in Sekamaneng plotting ways to hijack the party.
He said they are also aware that some ABC members in Thabane’s camp held a meeting in Butha-Buthe to illegally take over the party.
Hlaele declined to comment yesterday, saying he will speak when the time is right.

Mahao said despite the skirmishes the ABC is still on good terms with the Democratic Congress (DC), its main coalition partner.
Minister of Local Government Samuel Rapapa, who is also the party’s chairman, also told the press conference that the government is still stable because it still enjoys the support of 34 of its 50 MPs.

Those, combined with the MPs from the DC and other smaller parties, could hold the government together for a while. The situation however remains fluid with allegiances constantly shifting.

Majara Molupe & Nkheli Liphoto

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