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Battle lines drawn for ABC No. 2 post

by Lesotho Times
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Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — An eventful elective conference is expected early next month where the ruling
All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s political heavyweights are expected to wrestle for key
positions in the executive committee.

The Lesotho Times understands that while party leader Thomas Thabane will not be
challenged at the February 1 conference, it is expected that Social Development Minister,
‘Matebatso Doti, Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Mophato Monyake, and
Development Planning Principal Secretary, Lerotholi Pheko; from the Lithabaneng, Stadium
Area and Motimposo constituencies respectively, are expected to contest to deputise

Mining Minister Tlali Khasu from the Peka constituency and Michael Molefe, the ABC’s ‘Maliepetsane constituency MP and owner of the Diamond Academy, have thrown their hats into the ring for the deputy party leader’s post, if the current nomination list stands.

Meanwhile, Sam Rapapa, the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary for Economic Affairs,
Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) employee Samonyane Ntsekele, Mants’iouoa
Mosothoane, a Mohale’s Hoek nurse who runs a surgery and a pharmacy and Monyake
again have been nominated for the key post of secretary-general.

The party’s current chairman Molobeli Soulo and ABC MP for the Butha-Buthe constituency
Motlohi Maliehe are expected to lock horns for the party’s chairmanship.

Monyake is yet again pitted against tourism minister and former ABC women’s league president ‘Mamahele Radebe from the Hololo constituency and trade deputy minister Maliehe Maliehe for the treasurergeneral’s post.

Tefo Mapesela from the ABC’s Mokhotlong constituency is being earmarked to replace
Thabane’s press secretary Thabo Thakalekoala from his incumbency as the party’s
publicity secretary.

Submission of nominations will be closed on Saturday. Sources close to the nomination process
told this paper that although there are camps in the ABC vying for Soulo’s deputy leadership post, Pheko is a favourite because of his academic background.

Pheko, 50, who has been nominated by constituencies including Hloahloeng, Mashai, Hololo, Moyeni and Ketane is a Chartered Accountant who has also studied Project Management and has also studied with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).

“Pheko might end up deputising Ntate Thabane particularly because of his age and academic background which give him advantage over Ntate Soulo,” the source said.

“We’re also looking into the future and considering those moments when the leader can’t travel and someone has to represent him in meetings regionally and abroad.”

On Monyake, the source said he was sceptical about him making the executive “because
of sour relations with Ntate Thabane”.

“He might have been nominated for several posts but the truth is that he does not get
on well with Ntate Thabane and that does not bode well for his prospects of making it
into the Nec,” the source said.

Khasu is another nominee who might not make it because “he’s not eloquent enough”, another party source said.

“You should just watch him addressing a constituency rally, he can’t express himself and half the time he does not make sense when speaks.

“But that Ntate Thabane likes him puts him in good stead,” the source said.
“’M’e Doti is also a favourite but Pheko still impresses the most.”

Of the three candidates nominated for the post of treasurer-general, the source said, the
most preferred was deputy trade minister Maliehe, also because of his age and the fact
that “he’s in the leader’s good books”.

“But ‘M’e Radebe is also a favourite contender for the post and she features on the list of shortlisted names considered ideal for positions in the Nec,” the source said.

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