Crunch ABC youths ind­aba looms

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

SEV­ERAL pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls have thrown their hats into the ring ahead of the rul­ing All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion Youth League’s (ABCYL) elec­tive con­fer­ence from 25 to 27 Au­gust 2017. The con­fer­ence will be held at Le­hakoe Recre­ational Cen­tre and cur­rent ABCYL Pres­i­dent, Taelo Nt­sokot­sane will not be seek­ing re-elec­tion.

Mr Nt­sokot­sane this week told the Le­sotho Times that he had served his time at the helm of the ABCYL and he was eye­ing a role in the se­nior na­tional struc­tures.

“I have served my time and be­lieve that I have groomed some of those who will be stand­ing there­fore I have de­cided to move on to the el­ders,” Nt­sokot­sane said, adding “How­ever, I will still give guid­ance when­ever I’m con­sulted and when there is a need”.

This pub­li­ca­tion has since learnt that Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) Stu­dents Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil (SRC) Sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Thato Ponya, is among those eye­ing the ABCYL pres­i­dency along with some mem­bers of the Le­sotho Stu­dents Con­ven­tion (LESCO).

LESCO is af­fil­i­ated to the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC).

Sources privy to the mat­ter said that some of the as­pir­ing can­di­dates are Maphasa Maphasa from Koro-koro, Matšela Matšela from Thupa-kubu and Katiso Monatsi from Butha-buthe.

Mr Ponya con­firmed hav­ing pres­i­den­tial am­bi­tions, say­ing he was the right per­son for the po­si­tion.

The out­spo­ken NUL leader said he mod­elled his rad­i­cal­ism on party leader and Prime Min­is­ter, Thomas Tha­bane, who he de­scribed as “a man of less talk and more action”.

“I take af­ter a leader who walks the talk and I do not see my (rad­i­cal) char­ac­ter as an ob­sta­cle to win­ning the pres­i­dency. My vi­sion is to see the youth ac­cess­ing ed­u­ca­tion and be­com­ing self-sus­tain­able as the gov­ern­ment can­not take in all of them. I am for the one­ness of Ba­sotho and a bet­ter Le­sotho for all,” Mr Ponya said.

Mr Monatsi also con­firmed his in­ter­est in the pres­i­dency, adding, he would work to ad­dress the gen­eral prob­lem of youth un­em­ploy­ment in Le­sotho.

“I will be con­test­ing for pres­i­dent as I have been part of the com­mit­tee since 2012 and I am aware of the chal­lenges faced by our party and the strug­gle we have been through,” Mr Monatsi said.

Mr Matšela was not reach­able for com­ment on his mo­bile phones while Mr Maphasa de­clined to com­ment. Some sources have claimed that Mr Maphasa en­joys the sup­port of ABC’S Na­tional Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Sa­monyane Nt­sekele- a claim the lat­ter has de­nied.

“I know my po­si­tion and my man­date as the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of ABC is solely to up­hold the unity of this party with­out tak­ing sides or show­ing favouritism what­so­ever. Th­ese peo­ple are all youths and there is sim­ply no rea­son for me to be seen to be di­vid­ing them,” Mr Nt­sekele said.

The ABC is the main rul­ing coali­tion part­ner af­ter gar­ner­ing 48 seats in the 3 June snap elec­tions. The other par­ties in the coali­tion gov­ern­ment are the Al­liance of Democrats (nine seats), Ba­sotho Congress Party (five) and the Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho (one).

They re­placed the for­mer seven par­ties’ regime that was headed by Prime Min­is­ter, Pakalitha Mo­sisili.

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