Malebo ousted

Malebo ousted

MASERU– THE sun could be finally setting for Vincent Malebo after he was ousted as the Marema-Tlou Freedom Party (MFP) leader at a controversial two-day elective conference last weekend.

At 85, Malebo is the oldest MP in Lesotho’s parliament. Tlhoriso Lekatsa was elected the new MFP leader at the conference.
Malebo did not attend the conference arguing it was “illegal” and had “been called by people who are pushing their personal agenda”.
He has since dismissed last weekend’s conference as a farce.

“The conference will be held in September this year,” Malebo told thepost after the conference.
“It will be held on the 15th to the 17th of September.”

A few days before the June 3 election, a faction of the MFP led by Lekatsa announced it had suspended Malebo as party leader.
The faction accused Malebo of running the MFP as his personal fiefdom. They also accused him of making arbitrary decisions that are binding on the party without consulting his colleagues.

Their biggest gripe though was Malebo’s decision to nominate himself as the party’s candidate under the Proportional Representation (PR) seats.
They also said the entire list of 40 party members Malebo submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had not been approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Malebo was sworn-in as the MFP’s sole MP after the party won a single seat under the PR system in the June 3 election.
“Malebo was running this party like his fiefdom,” Lekatsa said.
“He behaved like a feudal lord,” he said. Lekatsa said the conference “was a success”.

“We had about 365 delegates drawn from 54 constituencies at the conference,” he said.
Lekatsa said they were caught by surprise when Malebo did not show up at the conference although they had invited him.
He said they had invited him in his capacity as the MFP MP and a member of the MFP.
“We were expecting him to attend the conference so that he could appeal against our earlier decision to suspend him from the party leadership pending this conference,” Lekatsa said.

The Lekatsa-led faction had tried to persuade the IEC to reject the PR list submitted by Malebo but the commission refused.
They rushed to the High Court seeking to withdraw the list while at the same time pushing to suspend Malebo from the leadership of the party.
The court postponed the case to a date after the election and Malebo was sworn-in as the MP while the case was still in court.
Lekatsa said the pending judgment in the High Court does not prevent the NEC to execute any of its duties.
“The newly elected committee is already doing its job,” Lekatsa said. Malebo has been at the helm of the party since 1982.

MFP new NEC stands as follows:
Tlhoriso Lekatsa: Leader
Nthabiseng Babeli: Deputy Leader
Benjamin Tumahole: Chairman of Conferences
Molise Mohale: Secretary General
Lorna Mackenzie: First Assistant Secretary
Simon Masilo: Second Assistant Secretary
David Ntšihlele: Third Assistant Secretary
Lipolelo Lerotholi: Treasurer
‘Malipalesa Ntšekhe: Committee Member
‘Matebello Mofeli: Committee Member
Mopolokeng Qhobosheane: Committee Member
Mpho Penya: Committee Member
‘Mantoetsi Mohale: Committee Member

Majara Molupe

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