Thabane blasts Mahao

Thabane blasts Mahao

MASERU-Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has lashed out at National University of Lesotho (NUL) Vice-Chancellor Professor Nqosa Mahao describing him as “a rag that is being blown by the wind”.
The scathing attack comes after Mahao expressed a desire to contest for the deputy leader’s position for Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party at an elective conference next month.
Mahao has received vociferous support from the Koro-Koro constituency committee amid fears the group could push for a split from the ABC.

But speaking at a rally in his Abia constituency on Sunday, a fired up Thabane challenged those who want to break away from the party to do so immediately.
His comments came on the same day that the High Court dismissed a case in which the Koro-Koro committee challenged the ABC’s National Executive Committee for suspending it for backing Mahao.
The committee had also asked the court to assert it right to discuss matters relating to the governance of the party in the media without first seeking permission from the national executive committee.

The Koro-Koro committee accused the party leadership’s actions as autocratic and undemocratic.
However, the Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase dismissed their application without giving any reasons.
In surprising comments, Thabane lashed out at Mahao saying they elevated the professor to a position of responsibility at the university but was now seeking the leadership of the party as well.
“He is not even an ABC member but just a rag being blown by the wind,” Thabane yelled.

“Tell him I said he must stop all he is saying. If he wants to start his own party let him go ahead.”
Thabane said some ABC members were already claiming they already had their own leader in Mahao.
He said those who felt that way “must now stand up and show it now”.
“If anyone amongst you here is following him, (say so) yourselves so that we count ourselves and know how many we are left with. Go so that we may count ourselves.”

“The ABC leader is me and not Mahao. Tell him I said the ABC leader is Thomas Motsoahae Thabane and once I step down, ABC members will elect another ABC member not a PFD member,” he said.
Mahao defected from the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) in 2015 after his brother, Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao, was assassinated by the army under controversial circumstances.
Members of the Mahao family together with many others who were known as PFD members jumped ship and joined the ABC.

The ABC bought public sympathy by actively associating itself with the pro-Mahao justice campaign.
Thabane said he would be willing to step down if all people were rallying behind Mahao since he has many other commitments in his life.
Mahao declined to comment on the matter.

A turf of war between Thabane and Mahao came after the Koro-Koro constituency nominated Mahao to contest for the deputy leadership position within the party.
Speaking at the rally, the ABC deputy spokesman Major General Sam Makoro, said as they are approaching the NEC elections, they should carefully elect people who will effectively run the ABC.
He said those who want to compete with Thabane for these elections, are playing around a very dangerous person.
“Those people should ask Pakalitha Mosisili, Mothetjoa Metsing and Tlali Kamoli who is now in prison,” Maj Gen Makoro said.

He rebuked party members for speaking out on radio stations about the party’s internal conflicts.
He said they must first seek permission from the NEC before they do so.
On Monday, a mellow Thabane withdrew the insults he directed at Mahao and asked him to forgive him.
He said those who seek to be in the executive committee must follow the party’s constitution.
“ABC members who forgot those sections (of the constitution) should go back and remind themselves,” he said.

He said he was very happy for people who joined ABC “but there are stages people should undergo until they qualify” to hold certain positions.
“If there is any person who may want to leave his own party and join ABC, including Mahao, they must follow procedures and if they follow them, there will be no conflict,” Thabane said.

Katakata Lethoasa

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