TRUTH Reconciliation Unity (TRU) party deputy leader, Pitso Maisa this week accused All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane of failing to rein in on incompetent and divisive party officials, resulting in a split in the party.
Mr Maisa said this at a rally which was attended by approximately 100 supporters in Motimposo early this week.
The rally was held to drum up support for TRU ahead of the 3 June national elections.
The elections were announced by His Majesty King Letsie III in the aftermath of last month’s successful parliamentary no confidence motion by the opposition bloc against the seven parties’ coalition government headed by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of the Democratic Congress (DC) party.
The TRU was formed early this year after Mr Maisa and Mr Tladi Khasu, the former deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) fell out with ABC leader, Thomas Thabane.
Mr Maisa said he was forced to leave the ABC after Dr Thabane disregarded his warnings about incompetent and malicious party officials who were bent on dividing the ABC through rumour-mongering and maladministration.
He said instead of taking the responsibility of dealing with errant officials, Dr Thabane “chose to attack me and said that I am always embarrassing other people”.
“He (Dr Thabane) told me that he had already accumulated his pension and that means he doesn’t care what happens to his party anymore.
“Those individuals have finished that party and yet it is surprising to hear how its cadres are always gloating about its constant growth. ABC has reached its ceiling of growth and it is in trouble as it is threatened by other new parties like the Alliance of Democrats and the Movement for Economic Change.”
He said even after he left the ABC, the party officials continued denigrating him and Dr Thabane even joined in to insult him for “being illiterate and if this is how literate people behave I’d rather remain illiterate”.
“I would like to remind Thabane that he never founded ABC.
“I am the founder of the ABC and he just came on board when everything was in order. And it took him three months to decide to come on board as he said he was consulting his wife.”
Mr Maisa said he “ran away from ABC because of their insults and bad behavior,” adding, “I have really been unfair to myself for ever having been an ABC member”.
He also accused ABC members of killing a man who was shot at his door step during his time with the party.
“That man was killed by ABC members though I was the actual target.”
Mr Maisa scoffed at suggestions that TRU was doomed by its failure to attract a significant following, saying it took time to attract followers when they started the ABC.
“That is where the ABC also started. Sometimes we’d have only 10 people and even five, so for them to say that our party is a still-born baby is nothing big. There is nothing wrong with it as our time is coming.”
He said despite the criticism, they would contest the up-coming elections and become part of the 10th parliament.
“The ABC candidate for Motimposo should just forget about this constituency as he will never win it.”
He dared anyone who wanted to challenge him to come out in the open and stop “gibbering about him”.
“I have learnt that these people who are always wearing their yellow (ABC colours) like flower blossoms are always gibbering about us.”
Turning to service delivery, Mr Maisa said it defied logic that water and electricity were expensive and not a right in Lesotho, adding “this is what we want to give the people as TRU”.
He said a TRU government would boost development by promoting popular sports like soccer as well as cultural activities like stick-fighting.
Meanwhile, ABC spokesperson, Tefo Mapesela dismissed Mr Maisa’s allegations and said “the least Maisa can do is to leave ABC alone and start working on his party and its manifesto”.
Mr Mapesela also said Mr Maisa would never win a parliamentary seat “now that he has left ABC”.
“As for the man who was killed at his place, he should give the police that information as he seemed to have harboured criminals and is therefore an accomplice because murder is a criminal offence.
“Why is he only mentioning it now that he has left ABC? He is equally guilty,” Mr Mapesela said.