ABC upbeat about retaining Hololo constituency
ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Nkaku Kabi, is confident that his party will reclaim the Hololo constituency in the upcoming general elections after its incumbent legislator defected to the Democratic Congress (DC).
Mr Kabi said this while addressing hundreds of party supporters in that constituency on Sunday.
Legislator for the Hololo constituency, Tlokotsi Manyoko, last month dumbed the ABC for its coalition partner, the DC, saying he was tired of the ABC’s never-ending internal fights.
Mr Manyoko said his political career was not progressing as he had anticipated under the perennially conflict-stricken ABC.
In response, the ABC organised the political rally to oppose Mr Manyoko’s move and drum up support to retain the seat in general elections expected in September 2022.
“We will have a new ABC candidate for this constituency in the upcoming general elections, and we will retain it,” Mr Kabi said.
“Just as there is hope for an axed tree to sprout back to life from its stump when it seems dead, there is hope for us to retain the Hololo constituency.”
Mr Kabi, however, acknowledged the hard work that was needed to unite the party in general and retain the constituency.
He acknowledged that the ABC had been facing internal strife since its elective conference in 2019 but reassured supporters that he was doing all he can to try and reunite it.
“When Thomas Thabane founded this party in 2006, it was to address the long-standing public challenges that existed. Let us remember that our job as ABC parliamentarians is to offer protection and deliver services to the people, and not to fight one another in parliament like what happened last week.”
Mr Kabi last week joined his allies in parliament in disrupting the tabling of the budget speech by Finance Minister, Thabo Sophonea.
Mr Kabi attempted to snatch Mr Sophonea’s tablet from which he had prepared to read the budget speech. As a result, the budget speech could not continue. The budget was only published the following day through the government’s website as well as at a press conference.
While Mr Kabi’s faction announced just before the budget presentation that it had pulled out of the coalition government and the budget could thus not be presented unless Mr Kabi was installed as the prime minister, the new ABC leader bizarrely claimed at the Sunday rally that his actions in seizing Mr Sophonea’s tablet were meant to protect the latter from ABC legislators who had threatened to harm him if he tried to present the budget.
But it had been clear that the violence in parliament was because of Mr Kabi’s frustrations at not being able to oust Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro as premier. Mr Kabi has been demanding that the premiership be passed to him since he defeated Dr Majoro’s for the party’s leadership race in January 2022. Dr Majoro has nonetheless refused to leave his post saying he would only do so after the next general elections.
Also speaking at the rally, ABC senator, Mphonyane Lebesa, called upon the people of Hololo to demonstrate their voting power by choosing ABC in the upcoming elections.
“I want you to show him (Mr Manyoko) that he won this constituency only because of the ABC. Let us therefore go and vote for the ABC in order to retain the Hololo constituency.”
He also lashed out at some ABC legislators for intensifying the latest conflicts within the party by refusing to withdraw from the coalition.
“To you ABC legislators, are you ok with the party being thrown into a dispute because of you? You have a long political journey ahead of you while the Prime Minister (Majoro) is nearly at the end.
“Are you willing to compromise that because of the Prime Minister who has already qualified for his pension benefits? Why is Dr Majoro holding onto the premiership? Does he want the demise of the ABC on his conscience?” Mr Lebesa asked.