ABC on the crossroads

ABC on the crossroads

THE result of the All Basotho Convention’s elective conference was nothing short of spectacular.
It was an emphatic rejection of the previous national executive committee that has presided over probably the most tumultuous time in the history of the party.

It is a reflection of the members’ anger towards a leadership they see as beholden to certain individuals in the party.
The total whitewash of the previous committee should therefore be seen in that context.
Delegates at the conference said they wanted to reclaim their party from the clutches of a cabal they claim takes instructions from the State House instead of listening to the voice of the people.

There was a general view that the ABC had lost its way.
The new executive faces a colossal task of reuniting a deeply divided political party. It won’t be easy.
The leadership might have changed, but the factions remain alive. Their animosity towards each other has only deepened.

Little wonder there is talk of a splinter party and a challenge to the election result.
The losing factions are regrouping and girding their loins.
The ABC is thus at the crossroads. Any hasty decision by any of the factions might lead to implosion.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, the leader, has not helped matters by seemingly backing one of the horses in the race. Today he sits at the summit of a committee he probably loathes.
Yet he still has to find ways to work with those people to reunite the party.
But for that to happen, he has to rise above the factional fights that seem have tainted his image as an impartial party leader.

The first step to achieving that is to accept that the election result is a reflection of the members’ will.
Although he is the founder of the party, he cannot choose who he wants to work with in the executive committee.
He has to work with a team elected by the members.
The second step is to accept that grave mistakes have been made and the party is currently on a fast lane to ruin.
Only he can stop it from falling over the cliff.

The third step is for him to accept that his political career is fast approaching sunset and he cannot continue to be the cog that holds the party together.
The party has to be defined by its values and not his charisma as a leader.
He remains the venerated founder and leader but for the sake of progress, he has to gradually let go of some of his grip on the party.

The election of the new committee gives him a chance to right the wrongs of the past.
The party is limping but it can be mended. Thabane should use the last years of his political career to heal the party and unite its members.
That’s a legacy worth striving for.
And that is what leadership is all about.


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