…Maqelepo, Thotanyana also win big at BAP’s inaugural elective conference
BASOTHO Action Party (BAP) leader, Nqosa Mahao, has been re-elected unopposed at the party’s inaugural elective conference held over the weekend at Lesotho High School, Maseru.
Former cabinet ministers, Motlatsi Maqelepo and Lebohang Thotanyana, were also elected deputy leader and secretary general respectively.
The elective conference was the first since Professor Mahao and 10 MPs broke away from the All Basotho Convention (ABC) to form the BAP in April 2021.
Since that time, Prof Mahao and the rest of the national executive committee (NEC) have been in charge of the party on an interim basis.
While Prof Mahao was elected unopposed, Messrs Maqelepo, Thotanyana and others who were elected had to beat off challengers to their new posts.
Mr Maqelepo, who was interim spokesperson, polled 408 votes to land the deputy leader’s post. He beat Sello Maphalla who got 189 votes.
Mr Thotanyana polled 324 votes to become secretary general. He beat Nto Moakhi who only garnered 124 votes.
Mr Tello Kibane, who is Peka legislator, was elected party chairperson.
Former Police and National Security Minister, ‘Mamoipone Senauoane is the substantive treasurer after polling 431 votes to beat Manyaneso Taole who got 181 votes.
In his closing remarks after the conference, Prof Mahao said the newly elected candidates should understand that their victory came with responsibility.
“I encourage you to remain humble not to let victory get to your heads,” Prof Mahao said.
“Victory comes with a huge responsibility. You should not act as demi-gods; we are just servants for the betterment and growth of the BAP. We should reach out to those who lost.”
Where the party’s detractors thought it would slide into chaos during its elective conference, the BAP had proven them wrong, he said. The party was therefore giving hope to the masses who had lost hope in politics.
He encouraged BAP politicians to desist from making false promises to the electorate in the run up to the elections. Instead, they should sell the party’s manifesto and remain disciplined.
“Let’s just sell them our manifesto and lastly, discipline, discipline and discipline! BAP should lead by example in its actions and talk and should be leaders in democratic centralism.”
On his part, Mr Thotanyana said his position was the backbone of the party. He said his biggest task was building a strong party that can help alleviate the challenges facing the nation as unemployment. This, he said, can be achieved through mobilising new membership to win the 2022 elections.
“We can only win the elections if we continue with our drive to formulate strong party policies and build a clear party programme of what we entered to do in government, when and how.
“As things stand, people go into government with no clear plan of how to utilise the power given to them by the electorate.”
Mr Maqelepo said he was excited about his new role and the responsibilities that come with it.
“One thing I know for sure is that Basotho have elected me because they trust that I can deliver their expectations. They did so because they knew that I understand their needs and can deliver them. All I know is that Basotho and BAP members want a Lesotho that is conducive for them and their welfare, a country that can create jobs and an economy that can answer their needs. They know that I understand their dream because it is also my dream, so together we can make it a reality,” Mr Maqelepo said.