We’re not  going  anywhere: Mahao

We’re not going anywhere: Mahao

MASERU – THE newly elected deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) Prof Nqosa Mahao says they will not agree to demands to hold fresh elections to choose a new executive committee.
Mahao told a party rally in Korokoro constituency last Sunday that the newly elected committee is not going anywhere.

“I should make it clear to you all that Lebohang Hlaele is going nowhere, Prof Nqosa Mahao is going nowhere and the election is not negotiable,” he said.
“I should also state that we are never going for re-elections.”
Mahao said he was confident that the new committee will soon assume the reins of power.
“It is (unfortunate) that today we do not talk about developmental issues in our country but about elections that went smoothly,” he said.

Mahao said allowing fresh elections would cast into doubt the ABC’s commitment to the democratic process which had resulted in a clear winner at the party’s elective conference last month.
It would also cast doubt on the party’s ability to resolve its internal issues, he said.
How then would they be able to secure democracy at the national level, he asked.

Mahao said the duty of a leader is to negotiate the party’s affairs with anyone who has a problem which is why the newly elected committee agreed to hold the negotiations with the outgoing committee.
“We have to know if their ‘sickness’ can be cured because this party is governed by democracy as our constitution states,” he said.

He said if democracy is a bitter drink they would force it down their colleagues who are contesting his new committee’s election.
“Therefore you should not be afraid when we go for talks with them. And if they walk out of the talks, they should do so but on 29 March according to the Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase, we are expecting final judgment if the talks do not help,” he said.
Mahao said the new committee will not shift on their position regarding the legitimacy of last month’s electoral outcome.
He said the case in courts is not legit.

Some three ABC members have filed a case in court challenging the election of the new committee.
They argue there was manipulation of the voter turnout after the number of votes were more than those of approved delegates who voted at the conference.
He said the outgoing committee was behind the court case.
“Those who are fighting are members of the old committee that was rejected by ABC members,” he said.
At the core of the dispute, they argued, is the validity of the election process that brought the Mahao-led committee into power.

The old committee wants the court to nullify the results and order a fresh election.
Mahao said the infighting was hurting Lesotho’s development.
“Our education is now deteriorating because of the teachers’ strike. And ABC members should not forget that they are in government because of the teachers’ support,” he said.
He said the newly elected ABC committee is keen to see the teachers’ grievances being resolved.

Mahao said they are also keenly watching developments in the wool and mohair sector adding they support moves to get wool and mohair sold and processed in Lesotho to help create jobs for locals.
“We could not walk away from those people’s grievances and expect to win those constituencies. We want them to be paid as soon as possible,” he said.
He said their intention is to be a committee where Basotho feel free to table their grievances.

The squabbling factions were given a two-week deadline by Justice Mahase to resolve their dispute which is threatening to tear the party apart.
The court said if the parties fail to agree the High Court will hear the case on March 20 and deliver judgment on March 29.

Nkheli Liphoto

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