THE All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s parliamentary caucus chairperson Fako Moshoeshoe says the ruling party’s old national executive committee (NEC) is desperately clinging to power and unwilling to leave because it fears being investigated for looting party funds.
Mr Moshoeshoe, who is the ABC’s legislator for the Mabote constituency, made the allegations while addressing thousands of ABC followers at a rally in the Lithabaneng constituency early this week. Former Social Development minister, ‘Matebatso Doti, who was recently fired along with incoming ABC secretary general, Lebohang Hlaele, hosted the rally in her capacity as the legislator for the Lithabaneng constituency.
The rally was held against the background of the intensifying power struggle within the ABC pitting the newly elected members of the NEC against the old NEC which has refused to vacate office.
However, on Sunday, Mr Moshoeshoe said the real reason for the old NEC’s refusal to leave office was their fear of investigation for looting party funds.
A fortnight ago, Mr Moshoeshoe was one of 21 ABC legislators who appended their signatures to a petition calling on ABC leader Thomas Thabane to urgently intervene and resolve the power struggle that threatens to split the party.
Among other things, the legislators said they are loathe to pay their monthly subscription fees under the prevailing circumstances wherein the old NEC continues to be in charge of party funds despite being booted out at the polls.
“We are afraid to continue paying our monthly ABC subscription fees because that money will not be under the control of the new committee elected by ABC members,” the 21 legislators state in their petition to Dr Thabane.
And on Sunday Mr Moshoeshoe accused the old NEC of refusing to hand over to the new NEC because they feared they would be investigated for embezzling party funds over the course of their five-year tenure which ended in January this year.
“We have since realised that there are some ABC members paying the people in our constituencies to rebel against us so that we do not end up leading as expected but please chase those rags out of the constituencies,” Mr Moshoeshoe said, adding that “money has made them so drunk with power that they think they can do as they please”.
“Where do they get that money? Are you seriously telling us to fold our arms, keep quit and watch as people steal money and use it to buy people in our constituencies? This is a governable party and we will not stop asking questions. People must account for their actions just like I have to account to my constituency as an MP.
“There are allegations doing rounds in the constituencies that when the new (NEC) administration comes in, it will investigate these people so now they refuse to vacate the office. We will not allow that to happen (the refusal to hand over power) and I am pleading with you to stand up and fight for this party,” Mr Moshoeshoe said.
The rally attracted thousands of ABC supporters and several ABC legislators. Prof Mahao also attended the rally which was held in the aftermath of the Prime Minister Thabane’s decision to fire Ms Doti and Mr Hlaele from their ministerial positions.
Speaking with Lesotho Times yesterday, Mr Ntsekele said “What I can tell you is that money has never bought the electorate and whoever thinks that money can buy them administrative powers is misdirecting themselves.”
“Others have tried it before and it didn’t work out and I believe that as the secretary general of the outgoing committee, I know fully well that money has never bought anyone power and I will never be part of a team that buys the electorate. There are such pure allegations, blue lies meant to disrupt the party”.