Why I quit RCL: Tuoane

Lesotho Times - - News - Keiso Mohloboli

FOR­MER Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho (RCL) deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral, Matšeliso Tuoane, says she de­cided to re­sign from the party be­cause of pres­sure from her sup­port­ers.

Ms Tuoane told the Le­sotho Times that she had been un­der pres­sure from her Senqu Con­stituency sup­port­ers since she left the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) in 2014 to join the newly-formed RCL.

The sup­port­ers, she added, had wanted her to join the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC), which she even­tu­ally did at the week­end. She was one of 160 peo­ple who joined the ABC in Senqu Con­stituency on Satur­day. Ms Tuoane failed to win the Senqu Con­stituency in the Fe­bru­ary 2015 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions un­der an RCL ticket.

“I be­came an LCD MP in 2012 (through pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion) be­cause of the peo­ple of Senqu Con­stituency, but I never con­sulted them when I de­cided to leave the party in 2014 for the RCL. They im­me­di­ately ap­proached me when they re­alised that I had joined the RCL and made it clear they were not happy about my de­ci­sion be­cause they wanted me to join the ABC,” Ms Tuoane said this week.

“I pleaded with them to give the RCL a chance but they still per­sisted, say­ing I had made a mis­take be­cause Congress par­ties are not re­li­able. The sup­port­ers said they had voted for Congress par­ties for a long time but their lives were not im­prov­ing at all.”

Ms Tuoane fur­ther said the sup­port­ers com- plained that un­like other con­stituen­cies with well-main­tained roads, wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and health­care ser­vices, Senqu did not en­joy such ameni­ties.

“They put me un­der a lot of pres­sure, re­mind­ing me all the time that it was time for us to cross over to the ABC and leave Congress par­ties,” Ms Tuoane said.

How­ever, Ms Tuoane said leav­ing the RCL had been a hard de­ci­sion for her.

“It was not easy for me to leave the RCL but since I re­spect my sup­port­ers and their de­ci­sions, I had to com­ply and take their ad­vice,” she said.

Asked if she in­formed the RCL Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC) about her de­ci­sion

to quit the party, Ms Tuoane said she did not.

“The rea­son for not telling the NEC about it was be­cause I be­lieved they were not go­ing to let me go just like. I am a Mosotho woman who knows that in our cul­ture, when a girl de­cides to elope for mar­riage (ho shobela), she does not tell her par­ents.

“How­ever, I be­lieve the ABC will send a mes­sen­ger to in­form the RCL lead­er­ship that I have joined their party, to­gether with peo­ple who sup­ported me while I was still with the RCL,” Ms Tuoane added.

RCL sec­re­tary gen­eral ‘ Mamolula Ntabe con­firmed Ms Tuoane did not in­form the party’s NEC, of which she was a mem­ber, about her de­ci­sion to join the ABC.

“The RCL is a demo­cratic party and al­lows ev­ery mem­ber free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion. But I can’t con­firm that Ms Tuoane left with all the peo­ple who voted for the RCL in Senqu be­cause they have not said so,” Ms Ntabe said.

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