THE ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s national executive committee (NEC) risks losing the support of the entire Koro-Koro constituency committee over its alleged failure to fulfil its promises to ensure service delivery in the constituency.
The NEC is said to have promised to construct roads, provide clean water and electricity. The ABC’s Koro-Koro constituency committee’s secretary general, Moroke Keketsi, says the promises were made to the constituency’s legislator, Motebang Koma, early last year.
The NEC is said to have made the promises in exchange for the constituency’s nomination and support for Professor Nqosa Mahao’s candidature for the post of deputy leader at the party’s February 2019 elective conference.
Despite fierce opposition from ABC leader and then Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, the constituency committee backed Prof Mahao who subsequently beat a strong field of long serving ABC stalwarts including current premier Moeketsi Majoro, current Defence and National Security Minister Prince Maliehe and former ABC chairperson Motlohi Maliehe.
Even after his victory, Mr Thabane continued to resist Prof Mahao’s election and even “fired” him from the party. Mr Koma and his constituency stood by Prof Mahao when Mr Thabane “expelled” him from the party in June 2019. The decision was overturned by the High Court last December.
Earlier in June 2019, Mr Koma had even filed a no confidence motion against Mr Thabane as punishment for the latter’s bid to oust Prof Mahao and his NEC loyalists.
The issue was still pending in parliament when the ABC’s NEC eventually forged a coalition with the DC resulting in Mr Thabane’s ouster and the advent of the Majoro-led government in May.
But in a new turn of events a fortnight ago, Mr Koma, who had backed the NEC, has now joined forces with the Thabane loyalists. The former premier’s allies are plotting a no confidence vote against the government before parliament goes on a Christmas break later this year.
Mr Koma is said to have been angered by being overlooked for a ministerial post in the new government despite his sacrifices in the fight against Mr Thabane.
Two other ABC MPs, Mokherane Tsatsanyane (Stadium Area constituency) and Sello Mooki (Bobatsi constituency), dumped the party in June this year to join the opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD). Other MPs have indicated that they might follow suit if their concerns are not addressed.
Besides being overlooked for a ministerial post, Mr Koma is said to be livid with the NEC for its alleged failure to construct roads, provide clean water and electricity as a reward for the MP’s and constituency committee’s unwavering support for Prof Mahao and the NEC against Mr Thabane.
Koro-Koro constituency secretary general, Mr Keketsi, this week told the Lesotho Times that Mr Koma told them in a 17 September meeting that he had thrown his weight behind the Thabane faction in its bid to topple the Majoro administration.
Mr Keketsi however, said the constituency committee was fighting tooth and nail to persuade Mr Koma to withdraw his support for the Thabane faction and return to the NEC camp.
He said this could only be possible if the NEC pushed the government to provide services to the constituency in line with the NEC’s promises.
“We met with the MP (Koma) on 17 September and we established that indeed he was part of the plot to topple this government,” Mr Keketsi said.
“We had a tough talk with him over this issue. He told us his grievances and we immediately petitioned the NEC to act on the grievances he raised.
“He told that he was promised that the government would construct a gravel road from the Moshoeshoe I International Airport to Mokema. It would also install electricity in Ha Khitione, Ha Ramokotjo, Mokema and other villages as well as provide clean water in the Ramohajane and Mokema villages.”
Mr Keketsi said they were still waiting on the NEC almost a month after requesting a meeting to discuss Mr Koma’s grievances.
“We are still expecting the NEC to call us for a meeting to discuss Ntate Koma’s grievances. He complained of lack of service delivery in our constituency, especially the provision of water, electricity and a gravel road.
Mr Koma yesterday refused to comment on the issue saying he was very busy.
ABC spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa said the party’s secretary general Lebohang Hlaele was best placed to comment on administrative issues of the party.
Mr Hlaele’s mobile phone rang unanswered for the better part of yesterday when this publication called him for comment.