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End of the road for ABC



The leader of All Basotho Convention (ABC), Motsoahae Thabane, finally ran out of boltholes. Last weekend, the ABC finally replaced him as party leader. After 16 years as party leader Thabane finally called it a day. Thabane’s exist was not the most melancholic event. The old man has aged beyond productivity and he has nothing to offer the country. Furthermore we can only acknowledge him for directing the political force that is the ABC but after attaining power Thabane has been nothing but destructive to the party. His faults as Prime Minister were not only detrimental to the ABC but also to the country as a whole. Under Thabane’s governance we saw debauchery and corruption that was unmatched. The ABC in government was not in the business of doing concealable white collar crime, but they stole like petty thieves and were capable of doing anything for money. Their crimes ranged from one Minister being caught smuggling diamonds and another that sold the country to a German company. We saw stagnation, poverty, and poor service delivery, and week after week ABC officials made headlines for all wrong reasons. Another thing that tarnished Thabane’s legacy was his beloved wife. Instead of delivering on his promises, he was busy being smitten with a lady young enough to be his daughter. Days after attaining the country’s premiership, Thabane’s wife Lipolelo Thabane was suspiciously gunned down. This ended any debate on who would be First Lady and his mistress Liabiloe Ramoholi grabbed the position. She gained notoriety for not knowing the limits of her boundaries and always meddling in government affairs. Thabane leaves the ABC as a tainted party that has become everything it promised not to be. The ABC rose to popularity because they sold Basotho rhetoric about fighting corruption. People had grown tired of Pakalitha Mosisili’s rule. Mosisili was in power for more than 15 years and until the ABC was formed, Mosisili and the party he led, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), had no competition. The ABC was destined for doom because its primary goal was toppling Mosisili and that is the only promise it fulfilled. Everything else was just rhetoric, a feel good message that gave false hope and no tangible strategies of how they purported to end corruption. People saw potential in the ABC to give them the change they wanted. The ABC grew upward since its inception to the extent that it became the biggest party in Lesotho, even penetrating rural constituencies which traditionally belonged to Congress parties. However, many of them were disappointed after giving the ABC their votes, because instead of bettering their lives, those people in the highlands suffered. The policy the ABC did a sham in implementing, to localise the processing of wool and mohair brought detriment to livelihoods of many rural families. Instead of benefiting from this initiative, Basotho were paid a fraction of the money they made prior to the government’s decision to monopolise the industry and inhibiting them from trading with the South African company BKB, as they had always done. Like all other initiatives in an ABC-controlled government, this one became a cash cow for ABC officials and their sponsor, Chinese businessman John Xie. Instead of development we saw the advancement of state capture. Thabane is leaving the ABC in the hands of Nkaku Kabi, hands I do not think are capable, as Kabi’s is alleged to be marred by the corruption that defines the ABC. Kabi has his fair share of corruption allegations and his appointment is equal to appointing corruption, looking at his corruption track record and the calibre of people in his circle. One of Kabi’s biggest supporters is the former First Lady ’Maesaiah Thabane. Hence we must be worried as Basotho that even though Tom Thabane is no longer at the helm, all the bad about him shall remain. This is the end of the road for Thabane as an active politician. However, I see the beginning of the end for ABC politics. The party is tainted beyond repair and Thabane’s exit from its leadership has not changed the calibre of its leadership. As a result I can say with great certainty, after the disappointment the ABC became Basotho will not elect the party again as they did in 2017. Is this the beginning of the end of Majoro’s tenure in office as Prime Minister, or not? And ought it to be? This is categorically the beginning of the end for Majoro, and the ABC. Whether he will have any peace is another matter. And it’s not just the arrival of Kabi in the ABC leadership that may disturb his sleep. Nightmares of being driven out of the Prime Minister’s position may seem all too realistic. Majoro knows he is now on the skids. Kabi made it clear during a PC FM radio interview that having defeated Majoro in the ABC leadership contest, Majoro must now pass the baton of Prime Minister to him, with immediate effect. So if Majoro is forced out of the Prime Minister’s office in the coming weeks or months it will not be because of a disagreement with the electorate over some major national issue but because he lost in the ABC leadership contest.

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