Friday, March 1, 2024
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The fall and rise of the “Panty Power”


By Theko Tlebere

When government changed in May 2020 and later on the former first lady was arrested and charged for murder of another first lady Mrs Lipolelo Thabane all had thought it’s all sundry for the current Mrs Thabane but it looks like the Panty power is back in action. The whole drama emanated from the imbizo or rather a traditional feast held at Makhoakhoeng which saw a handful of members of parliament (MPS) attending inclusive of the current Prime Minister (PM) Majoro. While many people foresaw the impasse as way of building peace in the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, the reality and even the reason why the most renowned ABC stalwart Professor Mahao decided to jump sheep is solely because, him and his companions anticipated that the power of government was now back in the panty power. The Panty power (MALUMARA) has risen!

The analogy of ‘panty power’ is construed from the common factional names in the ABC even though they don’t exist  anymore now that there is a splinter party in the helms. It shall be recalled that one of the core reasons for recalling the old man Thabane was that they are saving the party from his wife, because everyone including the PM was suspected of being clouded by the huge panty of his wife(hence the statehouse faction was mockingly called,’ Malumara’). So basically I want us to look closely at the ABC infighting and look at how the appointment of PM Majoro as Deputy leader of ABC says a lot about the political dynamics around the ABC power struggles which have always centred around the ‘panty power’.  Therefore when I talk about ‘panty power’ in this paper note that we shall be referring to the factional side that’s led by former first lady Mrs Thabane.

It goes without any doubt that the way things have unfolded recently in the ruling ABC it looks like the Panty power faction is now  in full control of the ‘blanket tata’, because the majority of the Executive committee seems to be under the spell, or rather under the control of the Panty power faction. What is astonishing to many of us today is that the Mahao faction seems to be hell bend that the Makhoakhoeng traditional feast was just a ploy by PM Majoro to give or take back power to Makhoakhoeng. The Mahao faction, according to statements he uttered in front of a frenzy of his supporters at his Qoatsaneng home, he doesn’t say anything about the wife of the ABC leader nor her involvement therefore making it doubtful that in the first place the panty power ever had any influence in the affairs of the ABC nor government.

There is another conflicting issue that should not be left out without being critically looked into, which is the about turn of some of the key national executive members, the Secretary General, the publicity secretary who have left many in disarray more specially because they were all hell bend that they will not allow panty power to control the government nor the Party. Now that they are now back in bed, does it mean they have full power control of the party and the panty power has left the helm? How then shall we weigh the ferocity of having a traditional ceremony at the house of the panty power and finally a splinter party of ABC occurs? Doesn’t it look like the whole plan was well orchestrated and planned out? One last observation is that in the mist of pictures and videos that went around we did not see even a glimpse of the former first lady, and knowing how she can be good in front of the camera it looks like she already knew the plan therefore she needed not to be part of the fracas.

The issue of the mastermind behind the panty power faction is now visible after a handful of parliamentarians deflected from the ABC and formed their own political party. It goes without saying that if the only committee member who left the ABC, is only Mahao then the Panty power has finally won the battle. Therefore could it mean the charges of murder against the ABC leader and his wife will stay idle as is or they might even disappear for good now that the panty power faction is in full control of the party and government? Or rather, if the Mahao faction is able to gunner enough seats to oust the Majoro side, will we see the cases being revived? The fact that the Panty power faction has always been regarded as the troublesome one, does it mean that the ABC will now have an everlasting peace with Majoro being the new deputy leader?

I want us to close this series by making a critical analysis of PM Majoro now that he has settled a deal with a faction that not so long ago wanted to recall him and he was saved by his slain faction led by Mahao. The million dollar question is how compromised will our prime minister be in his decision making in government and the deployment of party cadres? It further boggles one’s mind of how certain the ABC Mps are, about the involvement of the panty power faction because the only difference in their executive today is the absence of Mahao. On the contrary this ABC love back will also bestow some certain surety to Majoro now that he will be seating in the NEC meetings and be able to fulfil the mandate of the party unlike before when the NEC felt like his political mandate came from somewhere else.

 I want to conclude by indicating that, the way I see it, it doesn’t look like the problems of ABC will end anytime soon now that most if not all of its executive members have stayed with the panty power faction.  The conundrum here is that there are loyalist of the ABC who have not deflected to the new political party yet they were so vocal and loyal to the Mahao faction, therefore it’s just a matter of how long will they compromise their principles for the sake of peace of the ABC. For me, giving back power to Thabane is tantamount to giving it back to his wife, and we all know what a ‘mad man can do with an axe’. The future is Now!

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