MAPUTSOE – Basotho Action Party (BAP) deserter, Maputsoe constituency legislator Sotlehang Sekhamane, received a hero’s welcome into the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) fold. – Sekhamane led some breakaway BAP members to join the MEC, confidently promises MEC victory in the Maputsoe constituency. Sekhamane was elected into the country’s 10th Parliament to represent the Maputsoe constituency on an All Basotho Convention (ABC) ticket before deserting the party with nine other legislators to form the BAP, led by former ABC deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao.
The Maputsoe MP’s entry into the MEC fold follows that of the Mechachane constituency representative, Nyapane Kaya, who also left the ABC at the same time Sekhamene defected. While leaving ABC, Sekhamane and fellow defectors complained of having being stifled and voiceless within the ABC, declaring then that “…today we are free. We have voices.” In joining the MEC now, Sekhamane complains of the same within the BAP.
Speaking at the rally MEC leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, warmly welcomed Sekhamene together with all the new members accompanying him from the BAP. Mochoboroane assured the new members peace of mind and that there is no need for them “to look back, but to rather work hard towards the success of these coming elections under the MEC banner.” Approaching the podium ahead of his address, Sekhamane and his group burst into song with the MP heaping praise-songs on Mochoboroane.
Sekhamane promised the party leader that the Maputsoe constituency will be won by the MEC, suggesting the group that accompanied him was a fraction of his following in the constituency. He revealed he has been attracted to Mochoboroane’s party by the quality of his delivery as a minister. He gave an example of the installation of flood-lights in Maputsoe town at Mochoboroane’s insistence during his tenure as Minister of Energy – following a request from him (Sekhamane).
Sekhamane further noted that he was also encouraged by his followers to join MEC. “Today we are here to prove rumours that I crossed with eight people. Here are some of the people who crossed with me,” he said pointing at the people standing behind him. He said another reason he chose to move to MEC was because the BAP had failed to be guided by the party constitution, reminding the group behind him that “as we join the MEC let us be true to its constitution and policies. Let us learn the policies of this party so that we can be able to speak well about them as we continue to campaign.”
Speaking to Public Eye, Sekhamane said despite that Mochoboroane is younger than him, he admires his determination to achieve service delivery without looking at which political party they follow. He added that he has also been attracted to how he approaches issues on the ground hence he decided to follow him. In a separate interview, the party’s secretary general, Napo Moshoeshoe, noted that besides paving the way for the general elections, the main purpose of the rally was to officially welcome legislator Sekhamane, together with the people who followed him into MEC.
However, speaking to Public Eye, the MEC spokesperson Liteboho Kompi told this paper that, like any other candidate, Sekhamane will start from the primary elections if he is interested in contesting for elections as a constituency candidate. Kompi further explained that the MEC has no policy that restricts individuals from contesting for primary elections even soon after joining the party.