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Reforms a priority for ABC: Kabi

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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Bongiwe Zihlangu

THE All Basotho Convention (ABC) says the successful completion of the reforms process is a major priority for the party.

The party would do all it can to ensure the delayed process – which received a shot in the arm this week after the recall of the 10th Parliament by King Letsie 111 – was carried to finality.

Party leader, Nkaku Kabi, told the Lesotho Times yesterday Lesotho needed the reforms to secure its future. He would thus do all he can to ensure the completion of the reforms process.

The reforms process was recommended by SADC way back in 2016 but has not been completed due to political bickering.

Mr Kabi said his predecessor, Thomas Thabane, had worked tirelessly before retiring as premier in 2020 to push for the reforms.

“The reforms have always been a priority for the ABC, starting with former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who worked hard to ensure that they came to fruition,” Mr Kabi said.

“We welcome the reopening of parliament. The onus is now on us as parliamentarians to see to it that the reforms are implemented in full.

“That will help a lot in stabilising the government and regulating floor-crossing in parliament. As ABC, we are going to make sure that when parliament adjourns on Monday, all the work would have been completed.”

King Letsie III recalled parliament on Tuesday to sit until 29 August 2022 to pass the much-delayed reforms bills ahead of the 7 October 2022 elections.

The recall of parliament is now being challenged in court.

Mr Kabi said he was optimistic his party would do well in the elections despite the challenges it had faced. It would have been easier though if it had been fully united with the faction in the government working with the rest of the party to retain power.
“Things would be better if the ABC in government was working together with ABC, the party….,” said Mr Kabi in reference to the split between party members who are serving as ministers in Dr Majoro’s government, some of who have refused to recognise his authority. Some like Finance minister Thabo Sophonea have defected to other parties. Mr Sophonea has since joined the BAP of Professor Nqosa Mahao.

Dr Majoro lost the party leadership post to Mr Kabi in January this year but refused to relinquish the premier’s post to the new ABC leader.  He then opted to quit as the ABC’s deputy leader.   A spirited bid by Mr Kabi to remove Dr Majoro as prime minister via a vote of no confidence in parliament also failed.

By quitting from the party’s NEC while retaining the prime minister’s position, Dr Majoro probably didn’t want to remain accountable to the ABC anymore, yet it was the very same party that had catapulted him to that top post, Mr Kabi said.

“He was telling us to forget about him. The message was that while he ran the government under the ABC banner, we must just forget about him. And after prolonged infighting, we reached a point where we just resolved to smoke the peace pipe…..” said Mr Kabi of Dr Majoro’s decision to quit the party’s NEC.

But despite Mr Kabi announcing about two months back that they had smoked the peace pipe and reiterating the same point yesterday,  Dr Majoro has not been attending any ABC rallies as promised by Mr Kabi.

Mr Kabi said yesterday that was probably because Dr Majoro was uncomfortable appearing before huge crowds at ABC rallies because of his decision to quit the party’s NEC.

“He (Dr Majoro) is perhaps not sure whether he should attend the rallies to face the party supporters he believes he offended (when he quit as deputy leader)….. That is an understandable position…..,” Mr Kabi said.

He however insisted that they had smoked the peace pipe.
“We have indeed made peace with Dr Majoro. It is good. We communicate and discuss a lot of issues. But to be quite frank with you, when Ntate Majoro says he does not feel comfortable appearing before the ABC multitudes….we have no problem with that. He is not sure how the supporters will react.

“So, he says, let us maintain our friendship while you are in the party and I (Majoro) am in the government. We have no problems with that…..” said Mr Kabi.