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ABC goes digital

by Lesotho Times
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. . . as record crowd attends party’s star rally at Setsoto Stadium

Billy Ntaote

ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane says his party is committed to developing the country’s technology and ensuring it progresses from its least-developed status.

The prime minister, who made the remarks as he launched the ABC’s manifesto and website during a mega-rally held at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday, added that with advanced Information Technology (IT), government stood a better chance of empowering its people.

In addition to launching the website, Dr Thabane also unveiled a new mobile-phone specially designed for the ABC. The initiative is in partnership with Econet Telecom Lesotho, and seeks to enhance communication between party members, the ABC leader told the rally.

Dr Thabane further said the innovation would help the party in its campaign for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Basotho choose a new government on 28 February following last year’s collapse of Dr Thabane’s tripartite administration, which came to power in June 2012.

Sharp differences between Dr Thabane and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, over the premier’s alleged failure to consult his fellow principals when making crucial decisions, resulted in a complete breakdown of the alliance, which also included the Basotho National Party (BNP) led by Thesele ‘Maseribane. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), through South Africa’s Deputy Prime Minister Cyril Ramaphosa, then brokered a deal for an early election, which Dr Thabane on Sunday said he was confident of winning with an outright majority.

Dr Thabane told the packed Setsoto Stadium that: “Today we have been able to communicate with our people who are attending the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, because of technology.

“It is befitting that the ABC is the first to be part of such an important initiative we have entered into with Econet Telecom Lesotho, because we are a progressive party,” said Dr Thabane.

“We are stepping ahead as a party, when other politicians are concerned about rhetoric on conquered territories and their return (Free State Province of South Africa, which some political parties are saying should be “returned” to Lesotho as the area was seized by the Boers in the 19th century). We continue to make meaningful progress towards the betterment of the lives of our people, and not obsess ourselves with making empty promises to the electorate.

“We are going into this election ready to win it with an outright majority, hence all this innovation to ensure we reach as many of our people as possible. This website we are launching today will help us in this regard,” said Dr Thabane, to deafening applause from the massive crowd — probably the biggest to be seen at a campaign rally for the looming polls.

Meanwhile, ABC chairman, Motlohi Maliehe, said the launch of the mobile-phone and numbers starting with 65, was meant to help supporters easily connect with each other, and also raise funds for the party.

“Whenever you use the ABC mobile phone, you should know that there are some profits trickling into the party’s coffers. The mobile number is also for the convenience of our members as they can easily connect and identify each other,” said Mr Maliehe.

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