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Thotanyana to form new party

Former Basotho Action Party (BAP) stalwart, Lebohang Thotanyana, who was fired late last year, is forming a new party. Thotanyana told thepost this week that he has been advised to form a new political party that would address the socio-economic challenges facing Basotho.

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“We have been given a thumbs up to form a new party,” Thotanyana said, referring to his supporters in the BAP as the ones advising him to form a new party.

“We are mulling to form a party that will be for Basotho and not for individuals,” he said.

He said current members of the BAP were mobilizing others within the party to join the new entity.
Thotanyana said plans are at an advanced stage to finalize the registration of the party.
He said they are telling people that the BAP that they formed has lost direction.

“This is not the BAP that we formed,” he said.

Those at the forefront of the formation of the new party include former All Basotho Convention (ABC) MP Molefi Phamotse and former MP Sello Maphalla.
Phamotse was the MP for Likhoele constituency which no longer exists following a redrawing of the boundaries by the Independent Electoral Commission.

“These are just a few I can mention. There are many more,” Thotanyana said.

He said they are going to form a policy-driven party that works on the basis of hard evidence.

“This party is going to have scientifically-proven policies,” Thotanyana said.

He said Basotho have been deprived of their economic rights and are now trapped in biting poverty.
He said crime is high because of the high unemployment rate in the country.

Thotanyana said the police should be empowered to fight crime that is wreaking havoc in the country.
He said there has been a massive interest in their political party with people inviting them to come and address them on the new project.
The BAP spokesperson, Lepolesa Makutoane, said Thotanyana and his team were free to form their own party since Lesotho is a democratic country.

“Let them form their political party. Democracy allows them to do so,” he said.

Makutoane said the BAP is a party that sticks to the constitution.
He said until and unless they are proved to be on the wrong side of the law, they believe they are still doing the right things as a party.

He said Thotanyana has a handful of cases against the BAP which he filed in the courts. He said he believed he will not win the cases because they are unfounded.
Makutoane said there is no court that has said they have breached the law.

Makutoane said they booted people out of the party because they breached the party’s constitution.
Thotanyana was fired at a special conference that had been called by over 40 constituencies to deal specifically with his behaviour. The conference was held on December 2.

Thotanyana had incensed the constituencies after he claimed that the party’s national executive committee did not have powers to discipline him.
He was accused of leading a faction that had brought the party into disrepute.

He was also accused of refusing to register the party’s amended constitution and also aiding members of his faction to resist discipline on the fact that the cited constitution had not been registered.

He was also accused of refusing to sign a report to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) showing how the BAP had used election campaign funds.

“The IEC had misplaced the previous report and Thotanyana refused to sign the second one that was to be sent to the IEC,” he said.

He was also accused of running a campaign against the party in the media, saying the leadership was corrupt.

Majara Molupe

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