All Basotho Convention (ABC) Deputy Leader Professor Nqosa Leuta Mahao has set the record straight by revealing that the recent ABC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) polls were not rigged, based on the voters roll which was provided by former ABC’s NEC to electorate body Lesotho Non-Governmental Organisation (LCA) on February 1, 2019.
Mahao said the correct number of votes cast was 1 665, not 1537 which he said is misleading.
“We cannot agree to run for ABC’s NEC re-elections. Instead, we would rather seek justice in the Lesotho Court of Appeal,” Mahao said this at an ABC rally which was held at Korokoro on March 10, 2019.
The Lesotho High Court had earlier ordered the two ABC factions to hold negotiations immediately and conclude such negotiations on or before March 19, 2019 and that Lebohang Makamane (the Assistant Registrar) was to mediate such negotiations.
The court also ordered that if negotiations collapse by March 19 2019, the matter will be heard on March 20, 2019 while the final verdict on this case would be delivered on March 29, 2019.
Mahao indicated that ABC party is now facing serious factionalism which could lead to their party splitting because of disgruntled members who he said are defiant and unwilling comply with ABC’s constitution.
“If you don’t know, there is a certain Member of Parliament who is one of the applicants in this case yet he has never contested for recent elective NEC polls, which is something very ridiculous,” Mahao said.
The ABC’s deputy leader was quick to point out that according to the voters’ roll which was handed to LCN just before the recent NEC elective polls, the total number of ABC delegates from 80 constituencies was 1 650, excluding Korokoro delegates, whose names he said were hand written while the rest were typed.
On this issue, Mahao indicated that the total number of votes cast was 1700, not 1537 which he said was misleading.
Mahao also explained that he had carefully checked the LCN voters’ roll several times and that the issue of double votes was unfounded.
He made an example where about 1643 delegates cast their votes on the Secretary General’s position and his deputy, which number makes a difference of 106 extra votes as compared to 1537 which he said is a fraudulent figure engineered by people who are reluctant to step down from the power.
Mahao asserted that the former ABC NEC is the one behind all this mess disguised as applicants in the case before the High Court to block the new ABC NEC from carrying out its administrative duties.
Responding to disgruntled set conditions that they can enter into negotiations as long as both Lebohang Hlaele and himself (Mahao) can be withdrawn from the new ABC NEC with immediate effect, Mahao said that won’t work and they would rather seek justice in the higher court.
Mahao appealed for a united ABC, adding that unity is the key in tough times to enable their party to focus on sound implementation of its policies to address challenges that are currently facing Basotho.
“ABC is now in power because of the massive support from Lesotho teachers in previous general elections” Mahao said.
As soon as the new ABC NEC has been endorsed, Mahao said, they are going to quickly work with the government on critical issues such as the teachers’ strike, the wool and mohair saga, and police brutality and also deal with hunger coupled with the high employment crisis.
“Ha a khutle! Thabane ha a khutle! (Let Thabane come back to the party),” Member of Parliament from Mabote Constituency Fako Moshoeshoe shouted with backup voices from ABC party members.
Moshoeshoe reiterated that they honour their leader for his outstanding work to establish a huge ABC party for them.
Moshoeshoe appealed to ABC factions to iron out their differences peacefully and avoid any possible split as that would only please their enemies.
“It is unfortunate that people who are creating problems within our party are the first ones to run to South Africa to hide,” Moshoeshoe said.
Thato Ponya weighed in, stating that ABC should be exemplary and should be prepared to walk the talk, adding that they are not going to stop fighting for their rights up until somebody understands democratic ethics.
Veteran politician Moeketsi Tsatsanyane, biological father to Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport Mokherani Tsatsanyane spoke on behalf of visitors at Korokoro’s political rally.
In his speech, Tsatsanyane said he joined ABC party two weeks after it has been established in 2006 through the influence of Lebohang Hlaele.
Tsatsanyane explained that he was reluctant to join ABC due to its leadership structure which he said seemed to be problematic from the onset where excessive power was vested in a certain elite in the party.
Tsatsanyane appealed to all ABC members to accelerate the process of amending their party’s constitution as soon as possible as he has noticed that some elements in the ABC have demonstrated signs of wanting to turn the party into their own property.
“It is time to implement one of ABC’s policies that compels the party to exercise democratic rule and I say if ABC members have appointed somebody in the NEC due to his leadership qualities, let it be regardless of whether that somebody has not served a long time in the party,” Tsatsanyane told ABC members.
Tsatsanyane urged all ABC members to solve their problems peacefully.