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ABC must get their priorities straight



AT the time of writing it was still not clear if the embattled All Basotho Convention (ABC) party had called a special conference to “deal” with Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro. The ABC’s spokesperson, Montoeli Masoetsa, said the January 28, 2022 indaba will just be a normal annual conference to discuss key party business. Other sources however insisted that this was going to be a special conference to deal specifically with the issue of recalling Majoro as Premier. Whatever the case may be, we think the ABC is highly misguided in insisting on ousting Majoro at a time when the party should be strategising how it could retain power at the next elections due by September 2022. The January 28 conference comes at a time when the party is sixes and sevens after what had been an extremely bumpy year. Majoro, whom the party had entrusted with the steering of the ship of state, fell out with a faction aligned to former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane earlier this year. Subsequent attempts to pass a vote-of-no-confidence in the premier fell flat after the Thabane faction failed to raise enough numbers in Parliament. That embarrassing gaffe by the party’s hawks left the ABC bitterly divided while providing fuel to their rivals that they were now up for the taking. As it stands the ABC will likely walk into the 2022 general elections at its weakest since the formation of the party 15 years ago. Its chances of securing yet another electoral triumph disappeared as soon as the leadership began to bicker. But it was not just the bickering among the leadership that damaged the ABC. Former party leader and founder, Thomas Thabane, and his meddlesome wife, ’Maesaiah, must shoulder most of the blame. Thabane is facing a very serious charge of the murder of his estranged wife, Lipolelo in June 2017. His wife, ’Maesaiah, is also facing a similar charge. Without being cleared by the courts, Thabane and ’Maesaiah should have quietly slipped out of the public limelight to deal with the serious charges they were facing. By continuing to meddle in party affairs, the two significantly contributed to weakening Majoro’s hand in many factional battles ripping the party. The result was that we had a Prime Minister who continued to be hamstrung at the party level. Even when he exercised his powers as premier, the hawks in the ABC were quick to accuse Majoro of lack of consultation. Even if the January 28 conference chooses to discipline Majoro by recalling him, we think the ABC would be merely shooting itself in the foot. The damage has already been done, thanks to the constant bickering. If the party is to be rescued from self-immolation, there are two things that must be allowed to happen. First, Thabane and his meddlesome wife must withdraw to the background and not seek to run the affairs of the party and government from the background. He had his time and he squandered it. The second thing is that Majoro must reassert his authority and begin to govern without party apparatchiks telling him how to do so. Only when these two things happen will the ABC be able to retain a semblance of order and boost its chances of making an impact at the next elections. Without these two conditions being met, the ABC must kiss any chances of success at the polls a long goodbye.

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