Tha­bane ral­lies sup­port­ers

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

ALL Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion ( ABC) leader Thomas Tha­bane has said the army should abide by the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) sum­mit di­rec­tive to re­main in the bar­racks dur­ing Satur­day’s Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions.

Ad­dress­ing thou­sands of sup­port­ers at the ABC’S last rally at Sethaleng-sa-mopapa in Maseru on Sun­day ahead of the polls, Dr Tha­bane said SADC had de­ployed a large con­tin­gent of po­lice of­fi­cers to Le­sotho to as­sist the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS) dur­ing and af­ter the snap elec­tions.

The pre­mier fur­ther said the SADC Heads of State and Gov­ern­ment Ex­tra­or­di­nary Sum­mit held in Pre­to­ria last Fri­day re­solved that the army, which he said was “out of or­der”, should not con­duct pa­trols on the day of the elec­tions or per­form any re­lated role.

“The SADC Heads of States and Gov­ern­ment agreed that Satur­day’s elec­tions would only be manned by the Le­sotho po­lice as­sisted by the re­gional po­lice,” Dr Tha­bane said.

“They said the army should re­main in the bar­racks on Satur­day be­cause they seem to be out of or­der.

SADC does not trust the army to pro­tect the elec­toral process. As gov­ern­ment, we are not the ones who came up with the de­ci­sion to keep the army away from the elec­tions; it was SADC.”

The ABC leader also said SADC came to that de­ci­sion af­ter re­al­is­ing the army was “out of con­trol” and “desta­bil­is­ing” the na­tion.

“They (army) have been de­fy­ing my in­struc­tions as Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of De­fence and Po­lice.

“This is the first time I am con­fess­ing to you that the army ac­tu­ally made me run from the coun­try for my life last Au­gust be- cause they wanted to kill me,” Dr Tha­bane said.

“I am not a cow­ard but I don’t want to be killed by peo­ple I don’t know, which is why I had to run for my life.”

Turn­ing to the party’s can­di­dates con­test­ing in the coun­try’s 80 con­stituen­cies, the pre­mier said they must de­liver on the prom­ises they made while can­vass­ing for votes, should they win the elec­tions.

“I can as­sure you that most, if not all, of you will be­come Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment (MPS) af­ter the elec­tions,” said Dr Tha­bane.

“How­ever, I am more con­cerned about how you will be­have af­ter­wards. Once you are in Par­lia­ment, you will be ap­proached by other MPS tempt­ing you with all sorts of prom­ises so that you can re­nege on your prom­ises to the peo­ple who voted for you.”

He urged the can­di­dates not to em­u­late for­mer ABC MPS who crossed the floor dur­ing the Eighth Par­lia­ment, based on “empty” prom­ises from the party’s op­po­nents.

“I urge you to for­ever re­main faith­ful and loyal to the peo­ple who elected you into Par­lia­ment be­cause their hopes for a bet­ter life lie in you,” the pre­mier said.

“The hun­dreds of el­derly peo­ple who came to this rally used their mea­gre re­sources to pay for bus­fare. It is not that they don’t have any­thing else to do, be­cause they have hope that with the ABC, Le­sotho can pros­per.”

Dr Tha­bane also told the can­di­dates to al­ways visit their con­stituen­cies ev­ery week­end if they are elected as MPS.

“There is a bad ten­dency among some MPS to quickly for­get about their con­stituen­cies once they re­side in Maseru. You find them so­cial­is­ing in Maseru on week­ends when they are sup­posed to be in their con­stituen­cies re­port­ing back to the peo­ple about what is hap­pen­ing in Par­lia­ment. I condemn that be­hav­iour and do not ex­pect it from you,” he said.

The pre­mier also urged party sup­port­ers to vote for the ABC in their num­bers on Satur­day, “so that we be­come a gov­ern­ment that brings hope to the peo­ple”.

“It is only through your votes that the hope you have placed in us will ma­te­ri­alise and bring about change. There is no turn-

but ing back,” said Dr Tha­bane.

“I am ap­peal­ing to you to wake-up very early on Satur­day so you can cast your votes. Don’t just come in large num­bers to ral­lies and then de­cide not to vote. Your vote, and not just your rally at­ten­dance, will bring change.”

He also took a swipe at those sup­port­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral Tšokolo Makhethe’s law­suit against King Let­sie III, in which he is con­test­ing the ap­point­ment of King’s Coun­sel (KC) Kananelo Mos­ito as Pres­i­dent of the Court of Ap­peal.

“I don’t know where th­ese peo­ple (ap­pli­cants) come from that they do not know that our King can­not be sued,” Dr Tha­bane said.

“They are dis­re­spect­ing our tra­di­tion and norms. The funny part is that some of them are not even cred­i­ble lawyers.

“Their qual­i­fi­ca­tions are ques­tion­able be­cause they were just made to pass their law ex­am­i­na­tions at the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Le­sotho when they ac­tu­ally failed.”

Mean­while, Popular Front for Democ­racy (PFD) mem­bers, in­clud­ing the party’s sole MP in the pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment, Ntšepase Ma­hao, and for­mer Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy ac­tivist, Teboho Motšeleli, also joined the ABC at the rally.

Speak­ing on be­half of the de­fec­tors, Mr Motšeleli said the ABC had shown its readi­ness to take the na­tion for­ward and “seems to be the only party which re­spects the King”.

“We have re­alised that the ABC is will­ing to im­prove this na­tion and feel we should also be part of that process,” said Mr Motšeleli.

Prom­i­nent Mafeteng-based famo artiste and leader of the Terene (train) fac­tion, Retha­bile (Mosotho Chakela) Mokete, also ad­dressed the rally and vowed that his group and that of Fito (knot) would con­tinue to sup­port the ABC.

Mr Mokete said: “Ntate Tha­bane was the first to show in­ter­est in how Ba­sotho artistes were be­ing treated. We used to be un­der­mined by the past gov­ern­ments un­til Ntate Tha­bane took the ini­tia­tive to pledge, in the ABC man­i­festo, to ad­dress the is­sue of the ini­ti­ates, which is us, when no­body cared about us.”

ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane dances with South African mu­si­cian Dr Malinga at the party’s last star rally on Sun­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.