Lesotho: Drama As ABC's NEC Members Exchange Blows

Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro (file photo).
17 February 2021

There was drama at Khali Hotel in Maseru on Monday when two All Basotho Convention (ABC) national executive committee (NEC) members exchanged blows at a meeting to discuss whether or not to recall Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro.

The two members are Sekhonyana Mosenene and Mohlophehi Mohobelo. Mr Mosenene sits in the ABC's NEC as a representative of the country's powerful taxi operators. Mr Mohobelo represents the Leribe constituencies in the NEC which is led by former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

They exchanged blows as tempers flared over whether or not to vote on recalling Dr Majoro from the premiership for firing and reshuffling ministers Keketso Rantšo (Labour and Employment) and Thesele Maseribane (Communications, Science and Technology) respectively without the knowledge and consent of the ABC's NEC.

Over the weekend, ABC secretary general Lebohang Hlaele and spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa both said the NEC had been angered by the axing of Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) leader Ms Rantšo and the reassignment of her Basotho National Party (BNP) counterpart Chief Maseribane to the Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing ministry.

They said the duo should not have been touched in the reshuffle which affected a few other ministers on the grounds that their parties were signatories to the April 2020 coalition agreement which gave birth to the current Majoro-led governing coalition which came to power after the May 2020 dissolution of the previous coalition headed by ABC leader Thabane.

Messrs Hlaele and Masoetsa had then told the Lesotho Times that although Dr Majoro's decision could not be reversed, the party's NEC would nevertheless meet on Monday to discuss how best to manage its fractured relationship with the RCL and BNP.

However, the meeting exposed underlying divisions among NEC members with the likes of Messrs Thabane, Hlaele and Masoetsa pushing for Dr Majoro to be recalled from the premiership.

Their stance was opposed by deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao, chairperson Samuel Rapapa, deputy secretary general Nkaku Kabi, deputy spokesperson 'Matebatso Doti and treasurer Tlali Mohapi.

It was at this meeting that Mr Mosenene, who is said to be aligned to the pro-Majoro camp, fought with Mr Mohobelo (anti-Majoro side) as tempers boiled over Messrs Thabane and others' push to have Dr Majoro recalled.

Both of them confirmed the physical altercation with Mr Mosenene saying it was a "soft laying hands on each other which should not be in a newspaper article".

"Are we seriously turning a mild fight between men into newspaper articles? Yes, there was a soft laying of hands on each other but I refuse to make it a newspaper article," Mr Mosenene said.

Asked what had caused the fight, Mr Mosenene said "we were in the meeting of the NEC. I cannot comment further, goodbye".

Mr Mohobelo said Mr Mosenene had pointed a finger at him after he complained about the noise that followed the heated debate about whether or not to take the issue of Dr Majoro's proposed recall to vote.

"We were demanding that we vote on the motion to recall Majoro but Ntate Mosenene's side was against this because they didn't have numbers. They were making a lot of noise and I told them that the noise was affecting me. He pointed a finger at me and I hit him. I was pissed off," Mr Mohobelo said in an interview with the Lesotho Times this week.

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