Mahao says they want  me dead

Mahao says they want me dead

THE exodus of people from the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) to join the newly formed Basotho Action Party (BAP) has made headlines here and abroad. This is because there was expectation that this would cause the coalition government led by Dr Moeketsi Majoro to collapse.

There were claims that ABC deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao would leave the party with a lot of MPs. thepost’s chief reporter Majara Molupe had an exclusive interview with Professor Nqosa Mahao, the BAP leader. Below are excerpts from the interview.

What is the difference in policy between the ABC and BAP? How do you distinguish them?

We are still developing a programme of the party which would come out clear about what we are actually promising the Basotho nation as a whole. We have just launched the party and registered it on Tuesday. We are currently gathering the materials. The constitution of the party has also been drafted and released.

What is in store for Basotho that other parties do not have?

In essence, the BAP has three core values that it stands out from the crowd with. We need a clean government. The resources of this country are finished by corruption. There is politicisation of public service posts. Everyone wants to be employed by the government. And if that does not happen, they would start a commotion. We also want to uphold the rule of law as a party. In 2017 when the ABC came into power, it wanted to implement the rule of law but it failed dismally to do so. It abandoned it and the results are there for everyone to see.

It is our mandate as a party to have a productive economy outside the state. There are no jobs and all these years we have been talking about improvement of the private sector but that never saw the light of day. So this has resulted in political instability because people want to be afforded jobs through political connections. The cake is very small. The private sector has to be improved so that jobs are created and the economy is rebooted. There is a structural problem about the economy.

Have you not broken away from the ABC merely because you wanted a leadership post? This is because some ABC supporters have always fought hard that you do not get any leadership post in the party. Is it because you wanted to be the leader?
I have been chased out of the ABC. People who did not see eye-to-eye with me connived with each other simply to throw me out of the party. They plotted to boot me out of the party at a meeting in Makhoakhoeng. They did not see that it was a serious risk because I have left with many people. This has gravely weakened the party. My departure from the party has created a landslide. People are now leaving the ABC in droves to join the BAP and other parties.

I was the symbol of credibility for the ABC. Those who have remained behind in the ABC are now stunned by what is happening. These are the people who want action, vision and direction. They are following me. The people who are following the ABC are those in the urban and peri-urban set ups. For example, people from Mokhotlong town, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Berea, Maseru, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek. Those places are the ABC’s belt. These are the people who have access to radios and other forms of communication.

They could see when someone is doing wrong. They are following me. It is only swathes of populations in the hard to reach areas of the country who do not support the ABC. We have many political parties in the country.

Why can you not join them instead of forming your own political party?
It is because these people have been cut from the same cloth. Joining them would be a waste of time. But it depends on what Basotho want. I cannot stand here and say I have formed the party. I have not formed the party. I have been instructed by the people to leave the ABC and form a new party.

They told me that they would leave for other parties if I did not pay heed to their request. Politics is like fish, if there is no water, fish can’t survive. When I saw people leaving the ABC I had to follow them. I have been instructed to form the party. People demanded so.

Wasn’t there any other means to solve the party’s woes than leaving it?

We fought for almost two years in the party. The other warring faction was even plotting to eliminate me. At some stage, there were attempts to kidnap me. But I survived all those plots. I have been tipped off by my adviser from a well-known house here. I have been patient for two years. It is not a little time. God had saved me during my stay in that party. Let me save what remains of my life. So I decided to leave so that those who did not love me should have peace.

Critics say you are a greenhorn in politics, an academic who knows no political battles. What’s your take on this? Is it not true that in much of your adult life, you have been watching politics from a distance? You recently became active in party politics.
They know politics of constant failure. I hate politics of lies and corruption. I do not know them. If they wanted me to know such politics, they would be correct. Basotho are tired of these false politics. The people who are saying this about me are those who have achieved nothing in their lives. Ask them what they have achieved. Some of them have been shop stewards. It is only their highest claim to fame.

Others have only achieved to marry the former prime minister’s daughter. And it is only their claim to fame. There is nothing more they could mention. Let them give me all sorts of names. Doing so, they are exposing themselves more to the public with lies. Let them label me in whatever way they wish. How come I have defeated them in politics? When the ABC held the NEC election, I was hindered to enter the race by those who do not want me.

They would always throw banana skins in my way so that I could be frustrated. Still, I defeated them at 3am. My name was included in the ballot paper at 4am. At 5am, the election time started and I won. I have been dragged to court many times so that I could not take part in the ABC executive affairs.

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