By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The Movement for Economic Change (MEC) member Chabaseile Mabusela was sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Socialist Revolution (SR) last week.

The incoming MP brings to five, the MEC MPs in the National Assembly.

Hon Mabusela replaces the Socialist Revolutionary (SR) proportional representation (PR) member ‘Mamarame Matela who resigned as an MP on October 20.

The new MP has been sworn pending the outcome of the escalated court case that seeks to bar his swearing in as a male MP filed by the SR. The SR lawyer has also written a letter to the Speaker informing him of his client’s intention to lodge an appeal.

On Monday last week, the High Court judge, Justice Molefi Makara declined the Court’s jurisdiction to hear the case seeking to interdict the MEC’s Mabusela from becoming an SR Male MP.

According to the PR list, Mabusela was the next candidate after Matela following the zebra model as enacted by law.

By way of background, last year in a lead up to the general elections held on October 7, MEC and SR entered into an agreement that in Matelile constituency, their members should vote for SR candidate and have a MEC member placed 3rd on the SR PR list as the MEC candidate, Sello Tšukulu was disqualified by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) because during the nominations, he had not resigned from the public service as required by law. MEC did not stand for the 2022 elections in Matelile.

SR’s argument is that a person replacing Matela should be a female, not Mabusela as per the chronological order in their PR list because he is male.

Lesotho’s PR model uses a zebra system that strives for gender equality and inclusion. SR says swearing-in Mabusela goes against the spirit of this model.

With the motion of no confidence on the horizon, the new MP is likely to boost the government numbers in the parliament if he chooses to support it against SR’s current position.

Previously, opposition members endorsing the motion wrote to the Speaker that they are 61 and rallying behind the Opposition Leader Hon Mathibeli Mokhothu as the next Prime Minister. However, with the resignation of Matela, the validity of these figures is questionable. However the opposition maintains that it commands a majority to form the government and numbers are yet to be tested if the motion of no confidence lands back into parliament.