MASERU — The All Basotho Convention (ABC) youth league will go ahead with its conference tomorrow, defying a call by the party to postpone the indaba, the Lesotho Times can reveal.
The ABC leadership told the youth league that it cannot have its conference because the party’s national executive committee had called its own special conference on the same date.
The party’s secretary-general, Sam Rapapa, on Tuesday said they had not given the youth league permission to hold the conference.
“The youth have taken the stance that they are going ahead with their conference despite us forbidding them. It is their decision to continue with the conference,” Rapapa said.
According to Rapapa, the executive committee knew of the youth’s plans to hold their conference as far back as May “but we asked them to postpone it to October”.
“This was because we were in the process of preparing for elections. We communicated that to them in a letter but they still insisted they were going ahead anyway,” he said.
“We have again today (Tuesday) issued them with a communiqué citing that there should not be a conference this weekend.”
The ABC executive announced two weeks ago that it would have its special conference on August 27.
This was despite the fact that the youth league had already indicated that it will have its annual special conference from August 26 to 28 in Mafeteng. The executive committee said the party’s constitution allows it to “call a special conference
within seven days of the desired date”.
The youth responded by citing another section of the constitution which it said stipulated that the “youth should have an annual special conference every August”.
Youth league president Libe Moremoholo said they were not defying the executive committee because they had been allowed to have the conference.
He said the decision was reached after a meeting between the executive committee and the youth league on Tuesday.
The executive committee, Moremoholo said, had reluctantly agreed that the youth league can have their conference provided they finished on Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday as they had planned.
This, in essence, means that just two to three hours after the ABC youth have concluded their Mafeteng indaba, the executive committee will be kicking off its own meeting in Maseru.
“But, ultimately, we had to reach a compromise that we will conclude our Mafeteng conference in the afternoon on Saturday to make way for the executive committee’s special conference.”
Moremoholo said the compromise had been reached on Tuesday.
“I was also concerned as this played itself out because I did not want it to seem like we disrespect the executive committee. We need to finish on time as promised.”
He said there was no way the youth league was going to postpone the conference because they had already sent a circular announcing the date.
“How were we supposed to tell people that the meeting had been postponed? Announce it on radio? It could never have worked,” he said.
However, Rapapa later told this paper yesterday that the executive committee had not reached a compromise with the youth league as Moremoholo claimed.
“I personally wrote them the letter prohibiting them to hold the conference. I know nothing about the compromise (that Moremoholo is talking about),” Rapapa said.
“Our position as the executive committee is that there will be no youth conference. If they go ahead disciplinary measures will be taken against them.”
But Moremoholo was adamant that the youth league had been allowed to go ahead with their conference.
“Trust me on this one. We have been given the go ahead but were also warned that disciplinary measures will be taken against us after the conference. You can ask Ntate Soulo (ABC chairperson),” Moremoholo said.
Soulo could not be reached for comment to verify Moremoholo’s claims.