Soulo ‘to quit’ ABC

Lesotho Times - - News - Bongiwe Zih­langu

For­mer All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion ( ABC) chair­man, molo­beli Soulo, is al­legedly plan­ning to join one of Le­sotho’s ma­jor congress par­ties when par­lia­ment dis­solves next month.

A mem­ber of the party’s Na­tional ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC) yes­ter­day told the Le­sotho Times that the ABC lead­er­ship strongly be­lieved mr Soulo could de­fect to ei­ther the main op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Congress (DC) or Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) “based on his be­hav­iour since he was fired from cab­i­net in march this year”.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, mr Soulo had not at­tended any of the party’s ral­lies since his dis­missal from gov­ern­ment and fail­ure to se­cure an NEC post at the party’s Fe­bru­ary elec­tive con­fer­ence.

“We have noted with in­ter­est that Ntate Soulo has not been at­tend­ing ABC ral­lies the way he used to and has not par­tic­i­pated in any of the party’s events since he was axed from the NEC and sub­se­quently cab­i­net,” the of­fi­cial said.

“He had also made it a habit to ab­sent him­self from par­lia­ment when­ever there was a mo­tion that needed his vote as part of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

“In short, he skips par­lia­men­tary sit­tings when­ever there is business that re­quires mps’ votes, but on or­di­nary days when there’s noth­ing crit­i­cal to vote on, he at­tends ses­sions like every­body else.”

He added: “We are also very much aware that if Ntate Soulo was not a Pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (mp), he would have long de­fected to ei­ther the DC or LCD. But be­cause he is not a con­stituency mp, he’s prob­a­bly wait­ing for par­lia­ment to be dis­solved in De­cem­ber to make his move.”

The source fur­ther claimed the ABC ex­ec­u­tive had also es­tab­lished that Soulo was spend­ing “a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time”, in the company of DC deputy leader monyane Moleleki and Mpho Malie—the LCD stal­wart who is also Deputy Prime min­is­ter mo­th­etjoa mets­ing’s Po­lit­i­cal Ad­vi­sor.

“We have noted that he en­joys close re­la­tions with both Malie and Moleleki and is spend­ing a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time with them,” the ABC NEC mem­ber said.

How­ever, the of­fi­cial ad­vised Mr Soulo “not to even con­sider form­ing a new po­lit­i­cal party be­cause he has no support what­ever in the ABC that he can de­fect with”.

The of­fi­cial added: “He is not popular enough to draw any mem­bers of the ABC with him and no­body wants him any­way. If any­thing, his de­par­ture is good rid­dance.”

mean­while, another source close to mr Soulo’s fam­ily told the Le­sotho Times that the mp re­cently con­sulted his close friends in the ABC, seek­ing their opin­ion on his fu­ture in the party.

“Soulo told th­ese friends that he had been ap­proached by the LCD and DC, ask­ing him to work with them, pri­mar­ily be­cause of his congress back­ground,” the source said.

“Soulo ap­par­ently told th­ese friends that he was not sure what choice to make, but also said it was clear that his fu­ture in the ABC was bleak and that the party no longer wanted him.

“He also re­vealed that Malie and Moleleki had been urg­ing him to jump ship.”

The source also told the Le­sotho Times that mr Soulo has not been at­tend­ing ABC ral­lies of late.

“It is true that Soulo has not been at­tend­ing ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane’s ral­lies; or any of the party’s ral­lies. The last rally he went to was the one held in mphosong some time ago,” the source said.

“The bot­tom line is Soulo made a con­scious decision never to at­tend any of the party’s ral­lies after the ter­ri­ble re­cep­tion he re­ceived from ABC mem­bers and ac­cu­sa­tions of be­trayal lev­elled at peo­ple who ac­com­pa­nied him to that rally.”

Con­tacted for com­ment yes­ter­day, a de­fi­ant Soulo told the Le­sotho Times that he was aware of “all the talk” about his al­leged aban­don­ment of the ABC, adding he won­dered what irked the party “when they have made it abun­dantly clear that they don’t want me”.

“They made it clear to me that there’s noth­ing to write home about when it comes to me, so why should they be com­plain­ing?” Soulo asked.

“I was a cab­i­net mem­ber but was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously re­moved, hav­ing ear­lier been re­moved from the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the ABC. They must be dream­ing and they are not the ones to make de­ci­sions for me be­cause I’m quite ca­pa­ble of do­ing that all by my­self.”

He con­tin­ued: “What do they want from me? There are thou­sands of peo­ple who are mem­bers of the ABC but never at­tend ABC ral­lies. Why then, should their fo­cus be on me?”

mr Soulo boldly added he was free to “do what­ever I want, when­ever I want”, fur­ther in­sist­ing his as­so­ci­a­tion with Moleleki and malie was “ab­so­lutely no­body’s business”.

“I am en­ti­tled to my free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion, which is why I’m free to min­gle with malie and Moleleki if and when I want, with­out fear of ret­ri­bu­tion from any­one,” Soulo said.

Asked if it was true that he was plan­ning to de­fect from the ABC when par­lia­ment dis­solves, Mr Soulo said: “Talk to me when par­lia­ment dis­solves. Then I will have a story to tell, be­cause when par­lia­ment dis­solves, I will be at a cross­roads, and only left with choos­ing whether to take a left or right turn,” mr Soulo said.

“When that time comes, I will be more than ready to share my decision with the me­dia. I will call you all be­cause then I will have noth­ing to hide. I urge you find me as soon as par­lia­ment is dis­solved.

He added: “But I won­der what th­ese ABC peo­ple are wor­ried about, be­cause when that time comes, it is my vote that I will be giv­ing away, not theirs.”

ABC leader thomas tha­bane

For­mer ABC chair­man, molo­beli Soulo

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