SEVERAL presidential hopefuls have thrown their hats into the ring ahead of the ruling All Basotho Convention Youth League’s (ABCYL) elective conference from 25 to 27 August 2017.
The conference will be held at Lehakoe Recreational Centre and current ABCYL President, Taelo Ntsokotsane will not be seeking re-election.
Mr Ntsokotsane this week told the Lesotho Times that he had served his time at the helm of the ABCYL and he was eyeing a role in the senior national structures.
“I have served my time and believe that I have groomed some of those who will be standing therefore I have decided to move on to the elders,” Ntsokotsane said, adding “However, I will still give guidance whenever I’m consulted and when there is a need”.
This publication has since learnt that National University of Lesotho (NUL) Students Representative Council (SRC) Secretary-General, Thato Ponya, is among those eyeing the ABCYL presidency along with some members of the Lesotho Students Convention (LeSCo).
LeSCo is affiliated to the All Basotho Convention (ABC).
Sources privy to the matter said that some of the aspiring candidates are Maphasa Maphasa from Koro-koro, Matšela Matšela from Thupa-Kubu and Katiso Monatsi from Butha-Buthe.
Mr Ponya confirmed having presidential ambitions, saying he was the right person for the position.
The outspoken NUL leader said he modelled his radicalism on party leader and Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, who he described as “a man of less talk and more action”.
“I take after a leader who walks the talk and I do not see my (radical) character as an obstacle to winning the presidency.
“My vision is to see the youth accessing education and becoming self-sustainable as the government cannot take in all of them. I am for the oneness of Basotho and a better Lesotho for all,” Mr Ponya said.
Mr Monatsi also confirmed his interest in the presidency, adding, he would work to address the general problem of youth unemployment in Lesotho.
“I will be contesting for president as I have been part of the committee since 2012 and I am aware of the challenges faced by our party and the struggle we have been through,” Mr Monatsi said.
Mr Matšela was not reachable for comment on his mobile phones while Mr Maphasa declined to comment.
Some sources have claimed that Mr Maphasa enjoys the support of ABC’s National Secretary General Samonyane Ntsekele- a claim the latter has denied.
“I know my position and my mandate as the Secretary General of ABC is solely to uphold the unity of this party without taking sides or showing favouritism whatsoever. These people are all youths and there is simply no reason for me to be seen to be dividing them,” Mr Ntsekele said.
The ABC is the main ruling coalition partner after garnering 48 seats in the 3 June snap elections. The other parties in the coalition government are the Alliance of Democrats (nine seats), Basotho Congress Party (five) and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (one).
They replaced the former seven parties’ regime that was headed by Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili.