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Big trouble for AD



MASERU – THE Alliance of Democrats (AD) is in big trouble once again after 13 senior party officials, including the MP for Bobatsi Mooki Sello, defected to the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party last Friday.

Montoeli Ramaipato, who was the AD’s youth league spokesman, has also left to join the RFP.
Nokoli Hloloane, who was a member of the women’s league committee, also confirmed her defection to the RFP.

Other defectors include the AD deputy secretary Batlokoa ’Makong and three members of the executive committee Lefa Mapota, ’Maselupe Chabeli, and Setungoane Setungoane.
The defectors issued a statement on Friday in which they lambasted the “elitist politics” within the AD which they said must end.

“It is time for politics of vision in Lesotho,” the statement read.

“We declare that most constituency committees and branch committees have also joined the RFP,” it said.
The defectors said five members of the AD’s women’s league had all left the party to join Matekane. These include Phohleli who was the women’s league chairperson, and her deputy ’Matumelo Mosala.

Other women’s league defectors are the deputy secretary Hilda Molale, the rallies chairperson ’Matumiso Mosala and a member of the women’s league Nokoli Hloloane.

The defectors said they had also managed to convince three members of the youth league executive committee, secretary Palesa Mafenya, spokesman Montoeli Ramaipato, and Litšitso Mpheteng, to quit the AD and join the RFP.

Mooki Sello, the Bobatsi MP, said there is panic across political parties in Lesotho after Matekane entered the political fray.
Sello told thepost that leaders across all parties are running crazy after Matekane founded the RFP and “out of craziness they are now talking about Matekane everywhere”.

“By so doing they are promoting him more,” Sello said.

“They talk about the new party everywhere and every time, they have gone crazy,” he said.

Mooki was responding to questions as to why he had dumped the AD.
He said people in his Bobatsi constituency urged him to move from the AD to the RFP.

He said he also agrees with some AD members who believe in dissolving the party and joining the RFP.

“It is clear they are aware that they cannot compete with the RFP,” he said.

“The AD has nothing to offer in order to compete with the RFP. We are not trying to make people love it, they already love it out of choice.”

Sello said his constituency members told him that if he does not want to defect, they were going to leave him behind.

“They believe in Matekane and his course.”
Ramaipato, who was the AD’s youth league spokesman, told thepost that Matekane “is a man of action and not just a dreamer”.

He said at his age he is focused on the future and people who are interested in creating jobs for Basotho to rescue the sinking economy.

“We want him to rule alone, coalitions have let us down for some time now,” Ramaipato said.

“Matekane has a good vision. We want him to rule alone so that he would not be polluted,” he said.

Another defector, Nokoli Hloloane, who was a member of the women’s league committee also, confirmed that she had left the AD.

“We all want change. Matekane is different,” Hloloane said.

He recalled a time when Matekane helped the nation on several occasions.

“He bought Covid-19 vaccines for Basotho,” she said.

Two weeks ago, several other AD top officials who include the party’s secretary general, Dr Mahali Phamotse, Tlohelang Aumane and ’Manthabiseng Phohleli, also announced their defection to the RFP.

The defections enraged their former leader, Monyane Moleleki, who has now gone on an aggressive campaign to save his party.
He told a rally last week that the AD was not going anywhere, insisting that the party remains strong.

Despite his show of defiance, last Friday’s defections will likely deliver a powerful blow to the AD which only had 11 MPs after the last elections in 2017.
A defiant AD deputy leader, Professor Ntoi Rapapa, said the party remains strong despite the wave of defections. He said they had already started a programme to fill the gaps in the committees that were left by the defectors.

“I want to assure our people that our party is not dissolving as these former members are spreading such lies,” Professor Rapapa said.

“The formation of this new party has not affected our party only,” he said.

“If you could go to the constituencies you will realise that there are some parties that have suffered far more than the AD.”

Professor Rapapa said compared to some parties, the AD “is more stable” in the constituencies.

He said they are spreading messages through various mediums to their members assuring them that “the AD is not folding its flag to join the new party”.

“Our leader made that statement at his rally in Mekaling over the weekend. We are going to have other rallies in other districts.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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