Chorus for Majoro’s ouster grows louder

 SEKETE LESAOANA

MASERU – The official installation of recently elected All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Nkaku Kabi, on Sunday at his Qeme home constituency was used as a platform to echo the ruling party’s insistence for Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro to step down as head of government.

Majoro was beaten to the position of ABC leader by Kabi at an elective conference held at the end of January and, since then, there has been speculation that he would be forced to step down as head of government to fulfil the wishes of some of the executive committee members and a faction that wants him replaced by Kabi.

Majoro has not been widely recognised by his executive committee even before he was appointed deputy leader of the ABC, and there have been several failed attempts to oust him in a coalition bid that could not make the required parliamentary numbers to win a motion of no confidence.

And speeches at the Sunday ABC open-air rally at Qeme, which he did not attend, left no doubt that his party wants him out of Qhobosheaneng to make way for Kabi to take over as prime minister. This despite some relief on the part of his sympathisers early this month at a press conference in which Kabi promised he would not push Majoro out of the high office.

Majoro’s subsequent announcement following the new leader’s statements that he was resigning as deputy party leader at the same press conference could only attest to the fact that the ABC was fractured and that the party’s membership was not inclined to give the incumbent prime minister the reigns beyond 2022.

Speaking at the rally on Sunday, ABC Youth Committee Chairperson, Tšoloane Maphasa, made a public call on Majoro to step down as the country’s prime minister because “the ABC as the ruling party has a new leader who will be the prime minister.” Maphasa went on to say the ABC will not force Majoro to step down because they wanted him to do so on own volition because “we cannot have two centres of power in the party.

“The people have just elected Kabi as the new leader, and as his deputy Majoro relinquished the power bestowed upon him in that position when he resigned. And as the party youth, we say he should even step down from the seat of prime minister…he should step down so that we move forward. We will not fight you, but we will go to the constituencies and with the small resources we have we will build the ABC and let you keep the government resources to yourself,” Maphasa lashed out.

To the newly appointed leader, Maphasa promised that the youth-leaguers will remain true to the ABC motto of ‘Sera sa motho ke tlala’ as they occupy themselves with agriculture projects. He pleaded with Kabi to work towards creation of jobs for the youth. A guest of honour at the event, the leader of the Alliance of Democrats, Monyane Moleleki, echoed the youth leader’s sentiments.

Moleleki said it was regrettable that the ABC would be divided into two centres of power because of Majoro’s refusal to relinquish power as prime minister; with one being a leader by the people’s choice and the other the parliamentarians’ leader.

He wished the new ABC leader well and thanked the party’s supporters for entrusting its future in Kabi. Moleleki continued that “what I ask for the ABC on behalf of all party’s members is for the new leader to be made prime minister of Lesotho…I pray for Nkaku to get his entitlement, and I do not say this with disrespect to anyone.

“I am a member of the State Council where we advise on legal matters, and if the Speaker of the National Assembly asks His Majesty to call upon the State Council to elect who is rightfully the prime minister I will vote with the legislators who will vote for Majoro’s ouster as the people have voted for Kabi to lead. And if all Members of Parliament (MPs) agree to Kabi being in power who can stand against that,” Moleleki continued.

Even ordinary MPs had something to say given a chance to speak on total rejection of the possible two centres of power in the ABC, MP for Likhetlane constituency, Lekhetho Mosito, announced that they supported the newly elected leader as a sign of respect for the choice of the people.

“Nkaku Kabi is leader of the ABC and it should be like that at all cost,” Mosito said.

Despite the rage of most speakers cutting into what they called the creation of two centres of power by Majoro’s refusal to leave Qhobosheaneng, the ABC founder and outgoing leader, Motsoahae Thabane, avoided the subject choosing to focus on inaugurating the new leader.

Thabane said Kabi is not just a newly elected party leader but also the fresh blood to run the ABC as a political party.

The veteran politician said Kabi will freshen up the party through his strength adding the party will continue to be a leader in the country’s political race through Kabi’s leadership.

“You have a strong political leader that can stand the test of time and hardships and one who is passionate about his work. The ABC should be proud of the choice you made of a leader who is of political maturity and strength.

“Today I say ‘Ntate’ Kabi, but I am not sure what I will say tomorrow. I want you to know that leadership is not coincidence but a God-given gift and you are not just the leader to the people that elected you but everyone that is in the ABC fold,” Thabane said

While addressing the people, Kabi promised to shoulder his new assignment with bravery and continue to ensure that the ABC leads in the relay of politics.

Kabi called on party members to discontinue debate on the issue of the two centres of power, pointing out that the leadership will work it out. He promised never to drag them into the issue as they are in a delicate position following their 2019 confrontation that led to the split of the party.

Amongst those present to grace the ABC rally were the Democratic Party of Lesotho leader, Limpho Tau, Truth and Reconciliation Unity leader, Pitso Maisa and the Basotho Patriotic Party leader Tefo Mapesela, as well as Moleleki from the AD.

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