. . . rubbishes ‘disposable plate’ rumour
THE leader of the newly-formed Socialist Revolution Party (SRP), Teboho Mojapela, has scoffed at allegations he left the All Basotho Convention (ABC) out of anger for being given food in a disposable plate at State House.
Instead, the prominent businessman says his aim is a political paradigm shift in which the views and aspirations of the electorate are respected.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times from his plush Ladybrand abode this week, Mr Mojapela said the “disposable plate” rumour was the work of detractors bent on tarnishing his image.
“That allegation is too petty and it definitely doesn’t make sense,” he said.
“But if people want to make it an issue so let it be, but one day they will see the bigger picture.”
Mr Mojapela said SRP, or Kanana ea Basotho, was launched last week, although he doggedly refused to name its members. The party is also yet to register with the Independent Electoral Commission whose requirement is 500 members.
However, Mr Mojapela’s lofty ambitions for his curiously named party are not dampened by entering a fray already teeming with 30 odd parties. SRP, he says, will bide its time and capitalise on the governing four-party coalition’s missteps to make inroads in the country’s rough and tumble political landscape.
Even though his party’s name espouses the ideology of egalitarianism, Mr Mojapela believes successful people are better placed to govern a nation such as Lesotho since they are “less likely to want to steal from state coffers”.
Also in contrast to socialist tenets, Mr Mojapela made his fortune in the moneylending business, with JP Finance in Lesotho and Exact Finance in South Africa.
The current crop of politicians, he asserts, are too busy lining their pockets to address the electorate’s expectations.
“Politicians solicit for the electorate’s votes and use them as ladders to achieve their objectives. Afterwards they drop the voters when they are no longer useful to them,” Mr Mojapela said.
“In like manner, politicians always approach businesspeople for elections campaign funding. Once they get elected, they think they have made it in life.”
He says the current government needed to end the “vicious cycle” of political instability.
“They need to avoid the mistakes of the past regime. If we can’t be transparent, then the nation will remain stagnant,” he said.
“Previous regimes have collapsed because of arrogance and ignorance, and this one risks a similar fate.”
Mr Mojapela said he had nothing against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and wanted him to serve his full term.
“We, as the SRP, have no intention to topple this government or expend energy fighting it. Our growth will be organic, since we will be capitalizing on the government’s missteps.”
ABC Secretary-General Samonyane Ntsekele referred this reporter to the party’s youth league spokesperson Mphonyane Lebesa for comment.
For his part, Mr Lebesa said: “Governments are formed by the numbers of supporters and seats in parliament and he doesn’t have those numbers together with those who might want to team up with him.
“He is very right that there are issues we need to address and we are currently working on fixing them.”