Engage ABC in talks to form post-election coalition govt: Kabi

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Nkaku Kabi, says although there will not be an outright winner, he believes that his party will win the biggest chunk of seats in elections due in October this year.

So confident is Mr Kabi about his party’s prospects that he has called on other parties to immediately engage him in talks about joining a coalition government he hopes to lead after the polls.

Addressing thousands of ABC supporters at a rally in Koro-Koro this week, Mr Kabi said he was certain that his party would win the highest number of seats just as it did in the last elections in 2017. As it did back then, it would form a coalition government with other parties, he said.

At the same rally, an ABC-aligned Famo gang doled out M60 000 in cash to 150 elderly people to cushion them against grinding poverty.

“We are on a journey which will come to an end in October after the elections,” Mr Kabi said, adding, “The ABC will occupy the State House”.

“Therefore, other political parties are advised to approach us now if they want to be our governing partners. They will miss out if they delay engaging us,” Mr Kabi added.

He said the huge attendance at the rally was a clear indication that his party would do well at the polls.

Since the beginning of the year, Mr Kabi has been locked in a vicious power struggle with Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro. The latter had flatly refused to step down after being recalled by the ABC national executive committee (NEC) on 2 December 2021. Faced with the prospect of being annihilated in the forthcoming polls, Mr Kabi then engaged Dr Majoro in reconciliation talks.

Addressing party supporters in Hlotse, Leribe last week, Mr Kabi said the talks had been fruitful and they had since buried the hatchet. He said as a demonstration of their newly-found unity, the erstwhile foes would be addressing joint rallies, starting with the Koro-Koro rally. However, Dr Majoro was conspicuous by his absence, with Mr Kabi saying the premier had been caught up in other pressing commitments.

At the Koro-Koro rally, the ABC leader said, “We are discussing how we are going to work together now that some of us are on the cross bench (joined the opposition) in parliament and others remain in government”.

“We have agreed that once we have finished with our talks, we will issue a joint statement apologising to you because we have observed that some of your differences were caused by us,” Mr Kabi added.

Yesterday, ABC spokesperson, Montoeli Masoetsa, told this publication that feuding party factions had held talks at Thaba Bosiu last Wednesday.

He however, refused to give details, saying all will be revealed once they had reached an agreement on the way forward.

At the Koro-Koro rally, Mr Kabi also promised to increase the government’s shareholding in the diamond mines. He also said locals were welcome to partner large multinational companies who currently hold the bulk of the shares. However, he did not say whether the government would splurge the cash to increase its shareholding or simply embark on a Zimbabwe-style smash and grab operation of acquiring majority shares in the name of indigenisation.

Mr Kabi promised that his government would also set up an agricultural bank and build more schools, including those that cater for people with special needs.

Mr Kabi also denounced the murder of a National University of Lesotho (NUL) student during a Thursday protest over their allowances. (See stories on Page 6 and 7).

“What happened at NUL is very shameful, more so because police are entrusted with our protection.  They are not supposed to be violent towards innocent people. We are going to work closely with the police on this issue,” he said, adding that delays in arresting suspects often pushed the public to effect mob justice.

Mr Kabi also said his party would continue to work closely with the Terene faction of Famo gangs to ensure that peace prevails in the country.

Members of the Terene faction subsequently doled out M60000 to 150 elderly people at the Koro-Koro rally to cushion them against poverty.

Rivals Famo gangs have been implicated in rampant killings and other violent crimes in Lesotho and South Africa. Even Dr Majoro is on record saying Famo gangsters had been classified by the government as “internal terrorists”. However, this has not stopped various political parties from forging alliances with the rival gangs despite their fearsome reputation. The parties often turn to them to help woo voters particularly during election campaigns.

Mr Kabi recently visited Klerksdorp in South Africa to drum up support from the Terene members.

He showered them with praise, saying they were like “a government on its own” due to their high levels of “organisation and discipline”.

“You and us are intricately bound together and no one can separate Terene from ABC. There are people who wish ill on the ABC. They delude themselves into believing this party will die. Kobo-Tata (ABC) is not going to die. I have said it before and I will say it again that no one can ever come between the ABC and Terene,” he said.

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