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BNP moves to recall Molapo from parliament

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‘Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Basotho National Party (BNP) has “expelled” its former deputy leader, Joang Molapo, and begun processes to recall him from parliament.

BNP spokesperson ‘Masetota Leshota said they had resolved to expel Chief Molapo because “he is no longer one of us”.

The bizarre “expulsion” and moves to recall Chief Molapo come eight months after he dumped the party to join the Monyane Moleleki-led opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD).

This means that since his defection in July 2020, Chief Molapo has been serving AD interests in parliament despite that he was sent to the august house as a BNP proportional representation MP.

Chief Molapo was initially asked to appear before a BNP disciplinary hearing last June on allegations of bringing the party into disrepute. This after he publicly aired his dissatisfaction with the party for its alleged failure to protect him against some disgruntled members who wanted him out of the deputy leadership post in 2019.

Chief Molapo eventually lost the post to former spokesperson, Machesetsa Mofomobe, at the party’s national executive committee (NEC) elections in September 2019.

Last June, the party summoned him to a disciplinary hearing to explain his conduct after the internal 2019 polls. But instead of honouring the summons, Chief Molapo jumped ship and joined the AD.

The BNP said it only learnt of his defection in the media. He has however, continued in parliament despite being chosen as a BNP proportional representation MP.

However, his time in parliament could soon be over if the Speaker of Parliament, Sephiri Motanyane, grants the party’s request for his expulsion.

The BNP’s NEC met last week and resolved to expel and also recall him from parliament.

Part of the NEC’s 12 March 2021 letter authored by secretary general, Tšepo Lethobane, states that, “in its sitting of 10 March 2021, the national executive committee endorsed the decision made by the disciplinary committee on 24 February 2021 to expel Chief Joang Felix Molapo from the party”.

The NEC also instructed the party’s chief whip, ‘Mapulumo Hlao, to request Mr Motanyane to expel Chief Molapo from parliament “as he is no longer a member of the BNP”.

Contacted for comment this week, Chief Molapo said he no longer cared anything about BNP issues as he was no longer a member of that party.

He however, said the party could not recall him because there was no legal provision for the recall of MPs even if they were proportional representation legislators.

“I know nothing about BNP issues, not even the said expulsion. I really don’t care. I left for the AD and I’m very happy there. The BNP should remain with its problems.  That (removal from parliament) has been tried many times before and has never succeeded. No MP has ever been withdrawn after crossing the floor, there is no provision for that in the law. I wish them luck this time,” said Chief Molapo.

On her part, BNP spokesperson ‘Masetota Leshota said no self-respecting politician could continue in parliament having gone there on a ticket of party which he was no longer part of.

“If he (Molapo) respected himself enough, he would have stepped down and left everything behind because he is no longer one of us. He has long joined the AD and we want the speaker of the National Assembly to release him from parliament,” Ms Leshota said.

Mr Motanyane was not reachable on his mobile phone for comment regarding the BNP’s request to expel Chief Molapo from parliament.

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