They didn’t want to work  with me: Mapesela

They didn’t want to work with me: Mapesela

MASERU-WHEN Tefo Mapesela left the All Basotho Convention (ABC) last week, he hoped he would team up with Professor Nqosa Mahao to form a new party.
In fact, the plan was that he would deputise Mahao.

But MPs within the new party then turned against Mapesela, telling him point blank that they did not want him.
Mapesela says when this happened, Mahao did not protect him, leaving with no choice but to pack his bags anew and form his own political party, the Basotho Progressive Party (BPP).
The BPP is a solo operation with just him as the only MP.

Mahao has since formed his own Basotho Action Party (BAP) with a bunch of MPs who have defected from the ABC.
“Shockingly, the other MPs who were with me in the new party plainly told me that they did not want me,” Mapesela said.
“I had no option but to leave.”

Mapesela told thepost on Tuesday that it would be no “big deal” for him to cross the floor alone in Parliament because he represents a constituency.
He said there are other political leaders who do not have constituencies that they represent in the parliament like Moeketse Malebo of the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) and Kimetso Mathaba of the National Independent Party (NIP).
He said they do not have to be many when they cross the floor.

Mapesela, the MP for Mokhotlong, said he is set to be a “game changer” in the politics of Lesotho.
Mapesela said he has endured a great deal of suffering in the ABC which has battled internal fights for the past five years.
While the party was mired in internal problems, it was the public that was left out in the cold, he said.

However, the ABC spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa said Mapesela should be honest with his responses.
“Mapesela was infuriated by his ouster from the ministerial position because of his bitter statements and (failure to show any respect),” he said.
“Mapesela did not respect his seniors.”
Mapesela said the fights within the ABC had turned ugly in recent times and he decided to jump ship and form his own party.

“The ABC has caused massive harm in this country,” he said.
Because of the intermittent problems that have rocked the party, Mapesela said he had no option but to defect to form his own political party.
He said his Basotho Progressive Party will be a game-changer in Lesotho’s politics.

The party’s motto is “Toka le khotso ho batho bohle, moruo o hole” (Justice and Peace for All so that Economy Grows).
The motto means if there is justice and peace for all, the economy will flourish.
Mapesela declined to reveal how many other MPs will defect to his new party.

“You will see when they cross in parliament,” Mapesela said.
He said he had hatched a plan with other MPs to defect to form the new party “but those MPs have reneged on their pledge”.
Mapesela said what angered him most was a decision by former First Lady ’Maesaiah Thabane to contest for elections in Mokhotlong constituency.
He said it was clear that her husband and party leader, Thomas Thabane, had endorsed her candidature.

“There is no way she could contest the election without her husband’s approval. I want to give her space,” Mapesela said.

Majara Molupe

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