MPs want Majoro out

MPs want Majoro out

MASERU – PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro could face the boot after MPs filed a motion of no-confidence against his government.
The motion was filed by Basotho Patriotic Party (BPP) leader, Tefo Mapesela, who has been railing against Majoro since he was fired from Cabinet.
It was seconded by the Alliance of Democrats (AD) backbencher Kose Makoa.

Mapesela wants AD and former Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki, to replace Majoro.
Mapesela confirmed that he had filed the motion against the deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), a party he left several months ago.
It is however not clear if his motion will have enough numbers to topple Majoro and his government. Mapesela however appears to have been emboldened by the factional fights in the ruling ABC.
The number of the party’s MPs has been whittled in recent months due to incessant infighting that has triggered defections. Death had also played a part.

Until early last year, the ABC had grown the number of its MPs from 48 in the 2017 election to 51 through defections.
But those numbers have steadily come down in recent months, leaving the party with 35.
Nine have left with the party’s former deputy leader, Professor Nqosa Mahao, to form the Basotho Action Party (ABC).
Three have died while two have defected to the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and the AD. Another joined the diplomatic corps.
The remaining 35 MPs are said to be equally split between two factions led by Majoro and secretary-general Lebohang Hlaele.

Some sources however say five of those 35 are closeted members of the BAP.
If that is true, it means the ABC has 30 MPs, half of whom are presumably hostile to Majoro.
The DC which won 30 seats and on whose numbers the coalition is largely anchored has also suffered some losses. Two have defected while one has died, leaving the party with 27 MPs.
But despite the government’s slim majority, Mapesela’s motion appears to be a long shot.

The ABC might be divided but its MPs are likely to coalesce around Majoro to save the government, especially given that elections are due next year.
The Prime Minister can also count on the support of the 11 MPs of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) which has previously said it favours a government of national unity rather than another coalition of a few parties.
The MEC, which won six seats but gained one through a defection, has also said it doesn’t support the motion.
The Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), with its three seats, is firmly behind Majoro.

Prof Mahao’s BAP is said to be reluctant to support a motion to topple the government less than a year before the elections, reasoning that it would suffer reputational damage if it joins any governing coalition.
Yet all this doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed in Lesotho’s politics, where allegiances shift like quicksand.
The ABC secretary-general, Lebohang Hlaele, told thepost last night that his party is not involved in the motion but the national executive committee will meet on Monday to discuss the issue.
He however sounded confident that the ABC’s MPs will not support the motion.

“Our focus is to build the party and bring unity,” Hlaele said.
The ABC’s deputy chairman, Chalane Phori, said he was yet to decide how he will vote.
“I love Ntate Moleleki very much but at the same time Majoro is a member of the ABC. I don’t know how I will vote. I will see when I vote,” said Phori, who was previously at odds with Majoro and actively campaigned against him.

The party’s spokesman, Montoeli Masoetsa, who has had a public fallout with Majoro, said “it is up to the MPs to decide how they will vote”.
“We as the party do not have any say in how they will vote,” Masoetsa said.
“They did it before and they will still do it according to how they will deem fit.”
The Basotho National Party (BNP), which has stuck with the ABC through thick and thin, said it is yet to discuss its position on the motion.
Its spokesperson, ’Masetota Leshota, said the leadership will meet “probably over the weekend to decide whether to support the motion or not”.

“I cannot just say we would support the motion or not before we sit down,” Leshota said.
The DC, the ABC’s main partner in the coalition, was dismissive of the motion.
The DC spokesman, Serialong Qoo, said “everyone has a right to voice out their opinions in a democratic dispensation” but added that he doesn’t believe the motion will succeed.
“I wish Mapesela good luck in his endeavours,” he chuckled.
PFD leader Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane, who is a cabinet minister, said the motion is ill-timed and counter-productive as it is coming when the country is about to complete the reform process.

“This would bring us more uncertainties and instabilities,” Adv Rakuoane said.
The LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing said such decisions require their national executive committee’s input not only him as the leader.
“This is a sensitive issue we are discussing,” he said.
He said this also needs consultations with the party first.
The Basotholand Congress Party (BCP) leader, Advocate Thulo Mahlakeng, said “as long as the motion is said to be from Mapesela it lacks substance”.
“If it comes from Mapesela we give it a big no! That man has mental problems,” Mahlakeng said.

The AD Secretary-General Dr Mahali Phamotse said they would not hesitate to help to push out Majoro “when his own party wants him out of power”.
Dr Phamotse said the government was incompetent and deserved to be toppled.
The MEC’s spokesperson, Liteboho Kompi, said they do not support the motion at all.
“Mapesela has not come to us asking for our support but even if he came, we would reject him as a party,” Kompi said.

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