Soulo ‘to quit’ ABC
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