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Mahao’s party implodes

PROFESSOR Nqosa Mahao’s Basotho Action Party (BAP) is imploding, amid fierce factional fights. The party’s chairman, Tello Kibane, this week abruptly resigned from all his positions in the party. He was the chairman of the party’s central executive committee (CEC), the working committee and the parliamentary caucus.

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Kibane cited the fights between Professor Mahao and his principal secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Tankiso Phapano, as one of the reasons for resigning.

He accused Professor Mahao of making false allegations against the working committee that has been trying to broker peace between him and Phapano.

He also claimed Professor Mahao had accused the working committee of being bribed to ask Prime Minister Sam Matekane to remove him as energy minister.

“This conflict between our leader and the principal secretary (Phapano) now affects people who are trying to intervene,” Kibane said in his March 3 letter to the party.

thepost can reveal that MPs ‘Mamoipone Senauoane, Manyaneso Taole, ‘Masebuoeng Nkuebe are also considering resigning from the working and executive committees.

If that happens Professor Mahao would have lost the support of four of the six MPs who are the very basis of the BAP’s participation in the coalition government.

The other two MPs are the professor himself and Motlatsi Maqelepo, his deputy who is the Minister of Sports.

The source said Maqelepo is also frustrated but is waiting to see where the chips fall before making a decision.

Mahao has been battling to hold the party together for the past few months.

Although fissures have always been there, it is Professor Mahao’s fallout with Phapano that has triggered an all-out war between the factions.

Phapano is said to enjoy the support of the majority of the working committee while Professor Mahao still has control of the executive committee.

Party insiders however say his grip on the executive committee is now precarious.

Youth league spokesman Tlhabeli Mojapela also resigned on Monday, citing dictatorship and lack of peace in the party.

Like Kibane, Mojapela also blamed the factional fights on the rift between Professor Mahao and Phapano. He told thepost last night that he is frustrated that Professor Mahao had refused to reconcile with Phapano.

Mojapela said the party’s MPs are unhappy with Professor Mahao for not censuring youth league members who attack them.

“We have lost a lot of members due to the infighting. We are tired of fighting,” Mojapela said. He accused the leader of imposing his decisions on the executive committee.

“I like both our leader and Phapano, so, I want to resign for the sake of my peace of mind”.

The BAP’s secretary general, Leponesa Makutoane, confirmed both resignations but said Mojapela is being dishonest about the reasons for his resignation.

“He resigned after some youth members wrote a no-confidence letter to him,” Makutoane said.

“After the letter was read, he announced that he would resign, we were not surprised”.

The letter from the youth league members accused Mojapela of discussing party secrets on social media.

He said the party has investigated the Professor Mahao-Phapano conflict and recommended that they reconcile or be separated.

He said the BAP had now requested the prime minister to move Phapano to the Ministry of Sports.

Makutoane said the prime minister had no choice but to move Phapano as per the party’s recommendation.

“We are in a coalition, they will have to explain why they are failing to reshuffle Phapano.”

In a no-confidence letter that thepost has seen, the members of the youth league committee are clear that Mojapela should be removed.

They stated that Mojapela has drifted from aligning with the party position on many issues.

Staff Reporter

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