ABC, BNP ganged

Lesotho Times - - Big Interview -

the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice but was fired in Fe­bru­ary this year for al­leged in­com­pe­tence.

the sea­soned politi­cian bares his soul on his de­par­ture from the aBC, and al­leged fall­out with for­mer close friend Dr tha­bane in this wide-rang­ing in­ter­view with Le­sotho Times (Lt) re­porter Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane. LT: Your res­ig­na­tion from the ABC to re-join the LCD has not come as a sur­prise to many, con­sid­er­ing the un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous way you lost your cab­i­net post early this year. So could you please tell us what led to your fall from grace, if we may use that phrase. Soulo: Per­haps I should first tell you why I joined the aBC from the LCD when the party was founded in 2006. this could help you re­alise why I have now de­cided to come back home to the LCD.

the an­swer is quite sim­ple; I join a party, or any other or­gan­i­sa­tion, be­cause of its prin­ci­ples. When I join a po­lit­i­cal party, it is be­cause I be­lieve in its prin­ci­ples and the way it is con­duct­ing it­self based on its con­sti­tu­tion.

the con­sti­tu­tion and man­i­festo are two sig­nif­i­cant doc­u­ments which I al­ways con­sider as pil­lars of any or­gan­i­sa­tion I align my­self to. When I join any party, be­cause I have the right to do so, I read th­ese doc­u­ments care­fully be­cause they are what de­scribe that party bet­ter than any­thing else.

If they de­scribe the party, they de­scribe me as a per­son af­fil­i­ated to it, un­less the party does some­thing else apart from what th­ese doc­u­ments are say­ing.

It’s the same thing as I get into gov­ern­ment; I check the na­tional con­sti­tu­tion, and in church I rely on the bi­ble.

Ba­si­cally, what I am say­ing is that I can join any party for as long as I be­lieve in its prin­ci­ples aris­ing from its con­sti­tu­tion and man­i­festo. LT: Are you ba­si­cally say­ing you left the LCD be­cause the party was not liv­ing up to its prin­ci­ples? Soulo: Partly that. But to be pre­cise, I left the LCD for the aBC be­cause there were is­sues which, as we tried to re­solve them in ac­cor­dance with the party’s con­sti­tu­tion, we ended up in some un­nec­es­sary fights, and this led to di­vi­sions within the party.

But on top of that, I was tired of this is­sue of la­bel­ing peo­ple con­gresses and na­tion­als, which also deeply di­vided Ba­sotho as a na­tion. this trend had started way back with Dr Le­abua Jonathan (for­mer BnP leader and prime min­is­ter) and Dr ntsu Mokhehle (LCD founder and for­mer premier). I thought it was time we let go of it and start new ways of liv­ing har­mo­niously as Ba­sotho.

I thought party pol­i­tics should never ever di­vide us that deep in this day and age. and I want to as­sure you that was the main rea­son why the aBC was formed — to unite all Ba­sotho and for­get about whether one is a congress or a na­tional. We formed the aBC in or­der that when we die, at least we would leave a good legacy that we brought Ba­sotho to­gether through the party. LT: So what are your prob­lems with the ABC now? Why are you leav­ing the party of your dreams? Soulo: the aBC was do­ing pretty well un­til we got into power by form­ing a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with the LCD and BnP after the 26 May 2012 elec­tion had failed to pro­duce an out­right majority win­ner. Be­fore this coali­tion gov­ern­ment was formed, it had been very dif­fi­cult for par­ties to en­ter into such part­ner­ships.

It was even more dif­fi­cult for the ABC to part­ner with any of th­ese old par­ties be­cause of its fresh ap­proach to is­sues. But be­cause LCD mem­bers knew me well from back then when I was still in the party, they even­tu­ally ap­proached the aBC lead­er­ship for the part­ner­ship. It was be­cause they knew me and my tough stance on is­sues where nec­es­sary.

I had ac­tu­ally re­cruited and groomed most of the LCD mem­bers. the three par­ties namely the aBC, LCD and BnP then formed the coali­tion gov­ern­ment. an agree­ment was then signed to work to­gether con­sul­ta­tively.

and I want to em­pha­sise that it is writ­ten in black and white in the agree­ment that the three lead­ers should de­cide on is­sues of gov­er­nance in con­sul­ta­tion with each other. the agree­ment was doc­u­mented and we con­sid­ered it as a law bind­ing the three par­ties to work to­gether in har­mony.

We even went fur­ther to say that we should es­tab­lish a pol­icy of the three coali­tion par­ties work­ing to­gether as gov­ern­ment.

the three par­ties have their own poli­cies, hence why now they had to for­mu­late a gov­ern­ment pol­icy to­gether. We did that pol­icy.

I was part of the team for­mu­lat­ing that pol­icy. But as time passed, it turned out the three lead­ers were no longer work­ing to­gether as per the agree­ment and the pol­icy.

It seemed the other two — aBC and BnP – were conniving and sidelin­ing the LCD from de­ci­sions they were mak­ing.

this be­came ob­vi­ous as they ap­proached the cab­i­net. they would come to the cab­i­net with de­ci­sions, only to find that the other one is sur­prised as he was not in­formed about them at all. Per­son­ally, I tried work­ing out this is­sue.

I ap­proached the three lead­ers and at some point, it ap­peared as if I was win­ning. You will agree with me that the fall­out be­tween the three lead­ers reached cri­sis level after I was kicked out of cab­i­net in Fe­bru­ary this year as Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice. It was be­cause I was no longer avail­able to me­di­ate. LT: Which brings us to one of the ques­tions we wanted to ask. Why were you fired from gov­ern­ment? Soulo: I don’t know. But there were al­ready in­di­ca­tions that we were no longer on good terms with the prime min­is­ter. It was easy for me to re­alise it be­cause we were almost in the same of­fice. Some peo­ple who knew what was go­ing on started telling me that he was soon go­ing to kick me out.

But I couldn’t be­lieve it then. not un­til one evening when a gov­ern­ment ve­hi­cle stopped at my gate to de­liver the let­ter of dis­missal.

How­ever, I ac­cepted that decision and made peace with my­self about it. I quickly con­soled my­self that maybe it was God’s will that I should leave gov­ern­ment at that mo­ment be­cause He was sav­ing me from some­thing big com­ing my way. I re­mained an or­di­nary MP of the aBC, as I was there in par­lia­ment be­cause of the party. LT: What were the other in­di­ca­tions that you were no longer see­ing eye to eye with Dr Tha­bane? Soulo: In Fe­bru­ary this year, shortly be­fore I was dis­missed as min­is­ter, the aBC went for a very con­tro­ver­sial elec­tive con­fer­ence here in Maseru. as party chair­man at the time, I had even sug­gested that the event be post­poned be­cause there were grave is­sues of con­cern prior to the sched­uled date.

It was not the ideal time for the con­fer­ence be­cause of the thaba-Moea and thaba-Phechela by-elec­tions which were also sched­uled for Fe­bru­ary.

they de­vel­oped is­sues about prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries, say­ing that I didn’t want this one, I wanted to work with the other one and all sorts of un­founded ac­cu­sa­tions to bring my name into dis­re­pute.

We went to that elec­tive con­fer­ence with all th­ese neg­a­tive is­sues hang­ing over me with one pur­pose — that they would be rea­son enough for mem­bers not to vote for me into the neC.

they went all out to al­lege that I had big guns from the army kept in a large bag in my house be­cause I in­tended to over­throw Ntate tha­bane.

they made all sorts of al­le­ga­tions that I went out of the coun­try with the army com­man­der, Ntate tlali Kamoli, and that on our way we planned to top­ple the gov­ern­ment. Which gov­ern­ment?

the one that I was work­ing for? How ridicu­lous! and some peo­ple be­lieved all of th­ese lies.

But if all or part of th­ese al­le­ga­tions were true, I should be in prison now be­cause th­ese are se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences. But I have never even been sum­moned to a po­lice sta­tion for in­ter­ro­ga­tion re­gard­ing th­ese ac­cu­sa­tions to this day. LT: Are you say­ing you could have won the elec­tions had it not been be­cause of the smear cam­paign you are talk­ing about? Soulo: Def­i­nitely. I could have re­tained my po­si­tion had it not been for the smear cam­paign, which was a mis­sion well planned by the leader to boot me out of the neC. they went fur­ther to play cheap pol­i­tics in that con­fer­ence whereby they in­ten­tion­ally con­fused my name with Souru in­stead of Soulo.

They also in­ten­tion­ally con­fused my first name as Moli­beli in­stead of Molo­beli. You see, all this was be­ing done be­cause I was now be­ing hated with pas­sion by some dan­ger­ous peo­ple in the party. But be­cause most of the party mem­bers still liked me and ap­pre­ci­ated my be­ing in the neC, they voted for me in large num­bers any­way.

But I was not go­ing to be named in the com­mit­tee be­cause the leader had al­ready de­cided not to put me in the ex­ec­u­tive any­more.

now the last one, and the worst of all, was when one morn­ing, I read in the Le­sotho Times that my­self, Ntate (Mo­th­etjoa) Mets­ing (LCD leader and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter), ntate (Se­libe) Mo­choboroane, Ntate (Mpho) Malie, the army com­man­der (tlali Kamoli), po­lice deputy com­mis­sioner (Keketso) Mon­a­heng and oth­ers, would soon be charged with high trea­son. How would th­ese peo­ple charge us with this kind of crime? On what ba­sis?

now au­to­mat­i­cally peo­ple thought I was al­ready a mem­ber of the congress move­ment be­cause this is­sue was be­ing as­so­ci­ated with the congress. now all this made me re­alise that I should go back to my roots, the LCD. I re­alised that I was rapidly be­ing pushed into muddy wa­ters and dirt.

Con­tin­ued on page 11...

FOR­MER ABC stal­wart Molo­beli Soulo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.