DEPUTY Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu’s Democratic Congress (DC) is ready to embrace everyone who wants to join its ranks including Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro if he decides to defect from his All Basotho Convention (ABC).
DC spokesperson, Serialong Qoo, made the comments this week hard on the heels of the defection of hundreds of Dr Majoro’s loyalists from the ABC to the DC.
More than 900 people defected from other parties including the ABC to the DC at the latter’s Butha-Buthe rally on Sunday. Hundreds of the defectors were visibly supporters of Dr Majoro who is enmeshed in a tussle for power with his party’s new leader, Nkaku Kabi.
The defectors adorned T-shirts branded “vote Dr Majoro”. This has sparked speculation that Dr Majoro’s departure from the ABC could be imminent though the prime minister denies it. And Mr Qoo this week said they were ready to welcome any new members including the prime minister.
“We are ready to take in everyone who is seeking refuge in our party including Dr Majoro,” Mr Qoo said.
“We are even eyeing the new ABC leader, Nkaku Kabi and Ntate (Former Prime Minister Thomas) Thabane as well. They are all welcome.”
The defectors included three councillors from Qalo constituency: ’Matsietsi Moqhubu, Leboea Mothuku, both from ABC, and Masaete Ramakhomo from the Movement for Economic Change (MEC). Former ABC legislator, Tlokotsi Manyoko, also made his first appearance in DC colours at the same rally.
Mr Qoo said they were still expecting more people to defect from other parties to the DC.
Contacted for comment this week, Dr Majoro’s press attaché, Buta Moseme, said it was far-fetched to suggest that the premier could defect to the DC.
“While he acknowledges that people have freedom of association with any party, Dr Majoro doesn’t agree with the notion that the defectors were his followers.
“He saw the pictures but can’t verify anything because those people did not say so themselves. He doesn’t have many followers, but the ABC does.
“As for the issue of defecting to the DC, that’s just way too far-fetched. Ntate Majoro is a member of the ABC,” Mr Moseme said.
ABC spokesperson, Montoeli Masoetsa, accused the DC of faking the defections. He said the DC staged the defections to create an impression that the ABC was collapsing.
“It is a lie. They staged the defections,” he said.
He added that the ABC was no longer interested in mending relations with the DC.
“We are no longer interested in mending or breaking relations; it is obvious that now it’s everyone for himself because we are now headed for the elections. It’s no longer important whether our relations are cordial or not.
“They (DC) are pretending to be luring our people into their party and it’s all a lie; none of our members have crossed to their party,” Mr Masoetsa said.
However, Mr Qoo said while some of the 927 defectors were from other parties, anyone who doubted that their party was losing supporters should check their membership registers.
“If anyone wants to verify that these people are genuinely from other parties including the ABC, they should just go and check their party registers in different constituencies.
“Had things gone according to plan, we were expecting more than 927 members; only that some didn’t make it due to lack of transport,” Mr Qoo said.