Motsoahae: The master political technician

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YOU have to give it to Ntate Motsoahae. The old codger is a shrewd political operator.  He knows his political stuff and how to outfox opponents. All along, Ntate Motsoahae has duped all and sundry into believing that he is resigning or retiring as premier in July or even before if his party picks a successor. But deep down his heart, he has always known that he is merely playing orchestrated politics. Deep down his heart, he has known he is going nowhere. Perhaps, the promise to retire was a good ploy to defray all the Lipolelo pressure, mollify opponents while crafting a strategy to derail them. No one can dispute that Ntate Motsoahae (aka Thabane) has now derailed his opponents. He remains in office despite all the clamours for him to go.  Who would have thought that a man facing a murder charge would be back in the driving seat like he is?

There are indeed many Basotho who took Ntate Motsoahae’s promise of retirement with a huge tinge of scepticism, if not an entire drum of salt. They now stand vindicated.

Poor Ntate Sam Rapapa. I am told he has been busy with daily manicures and pedicures as well as visiting the best barbershops for the choicest haircuts and general grooming in preparation for his grand day of walking into State House.  I am told he had even bought a plush charcoal grey suit and a pair of pointed Shelly’s shoes for his “inauguration”.  He had already sent invites to his extended family to get ready for that big day and to mobilise dozens of sheep and goats for slaughter at a post inauguration party in his Mosalemane constituency.

It seems all those efforts are now in vain as Ntate Motsoahae has all but confirmed that he is not quitting, now or in July.  Consider his vehement remarks in the Public Eye last week in response to Ntate Hlaele’s statement that the ABC has chosen Ntate Rapapa to replace him as premier.

“I am still the Prime Minister, there is no vacancy. You cannot seek to fill a non-existent vacancy unless you are mad. They must hold their horses,” roared Ntate Motsoahae.

“They should stop what they are doing because this will cause uncontrollable chaos in our party. When I eventually retire as Prime Minister, the ABC will hold a conference at which members of this party will elect a person who they want to lead the party in Parliament and subsequently become Prime Minister. They will decide whether they want Rapapa or somebody else. For now, I am still the Prime Minister….”

Now, in light of these remarks, if you believe that Ntate Motsoahae will actually go in July as he had promised, then please consult the best psychiatrist or best sangoma that you can get for a good psychiatry examination because you are in fact mad.

The very day Ntate Motsoahae convened a press conference to announce his retirement, I met one of his cronies at Lancers who broadly acclaimed to me; “The old man is going nowhere….”

I didn’t even want to believe that hanger-on, who I must also add is reaping huge monies from government through this fleet hire shenanigan.  How can a Prime Minister announce his retirement and then renege on the promise? I asked myself. That cannot be? Yet that is what is exactly happening.

By boldly asserting that boNtate Hlaele, Mahao and other NEC members who sat to choose Ntate Rapapa are mad, Ntate Motsoahae is essentially confirming the sentiments of his chief hanger-on, Ntate Phori, that he intends to stay in office and complete his term in 2022. So, are you mad Ntate Hlaele as alleged by your father in law? Please tell us?

With the dust now settled, albeit for now, over the Lipolelo matter and with all the international news crews now gone, this was a perfect moment for Ntate Motsoahae to unleash his masterstrokes.  He has caught his opponents with pants down and exposed their private parts.

If I were you Ntate Rapapa, I would go back and return that charcoal grey “inauguration” suit to avoid falling into unnecessary debt. I am assuming you bought it on credit. Where would you have gotten the money to buy such an expensive suit in our collapsed economy?

One does not need to be a rocket scientist or a holder of a Phd in Mechatronics to unpack Ntate Motsoahae’s statement above as conclusive evidence and confirmation that he is not retiring in July or before as he had promised.

Firstly, if Ntate Motsoahae was indeed retiring in July, then he would be the first to acknowledge that his party is way too late in choosing a successor.  There are many processes that have to be undertaken before any successor actually takes over from him. The buy-in of the coalition partners is needed. That is not an overnight process.  Then there are the processes in Parliament itself including consultations with parliamentarians to ensure that the majority are on-side during voting. In other words, if Ntate Motsoahae is genuine about leaving in July, then the timeframes are so thin. Successors are groomed and chosen two or three years before they actually take over unless an incumbent leader dies or resigns suddenly. Four months is just too short a time. So, if Ntate Motsoahae had any intention of retiring in July, he would have acknowledged this fact and embraced Ntate Rapapa. The handover should have started yesterday.

Secondly, Ntate Motsoahae had emphasized that he would retire end of July or even sooner if the ABC agrees on a successor. So, if he had any desire to leave office, he would have done it now after the announcement that the ABC had settled for Ntate Rapapa. That is not the case however.  I thus also urge Ntate Rapapa to return the pointed shoes from Shelly’s after he has returned his charcoal grey “inauguration” suit. There will be no inauguration of him anytime soon, if ever. Ntate Motsoahae has just confirmed that.

Thirdly, by branding Ntate Hlaele, Prof Mahao and other NEC luminaries as “mad” people, Ntate Motsoahae is exposing the crucial fact that he is not aware and was not even present at the NEC meeting which allegedly chose Rapapa as his successor. So, was that meeting legitimate in the absence of its leader? Didn’t they (the ABC) tell us that they had re-united. It’s a question the ABC, or Ntate Hlaele in particular, must answer.

What is boNtate Mahao, Hlaele and others going to do now after their classification as “mad” people?  Are they going to go to Tsepong and get medical certificates to verify that they are in fact not mad, and then bash Ntate Motsoahae in revenge? Are they going to just let sleeping dogs lie and not bother to prove their sanity or otherwise to Basotho? If they do the latter, they would have made a grave mistake. Some might think they are in fact “mad”. They have no option but to challenge Ntate Motsoahae’s scurrilous slur against them.

Fourthly, Ntate Motsoahae knows very well that a leader does not leave office first, then his party calls an election to replace him afterwards. A conference to elect a new leader happens well in advance of an incumbent’s departure to enable a smooth handover. So, if Ntate Motsoahae had any real intention of leaving office in July, he would have implored the ABC to convene a special conference to elect his successor now.  The ABC is already way behind schedule if Ntate Motsoahae is due to leave in July. But because he knows he is staying put, Ntate Motsoahae is not exerting any pressure on his party to convene such a conference to pick his successor.

What is clear for now is that Ntate Motsoahae is a master at outmanoeuvring his opponents. Remember, he has already defeated the clamour that he should go as soon as Parliament opens. Parliament opened recently and Ntate Motsoahae remains ensconced in his prime ministerial seat. Ntate Motsoahae has even sowed confusion in the DC which has proposed a vote of no confidence to replace Ntate Motsoahae with its own MP, Ntate Qoo. What the hell is that? Where is Ntate Mokhothu. How does a party, which is the official opposition, ditch its leader, who is recognised as the official opposition leader, who sits in the very Parliament, and propose an ordinary MP like Ntate Qoo.  I fail to see any reason or strategic thinking behind the DC ‘s decision, except that it has been outwitted by Ntate Motsoahae in the same way he continues to make a fool of his own ABC.

Ntate Motsoahae is here to stay. He has outwitted and outmanoeuvred his opponents. Ntate Hlaele had even jettisoned his clamour for Ntate Motsoahae to go sooner and conceded that the premier will only leave in July. So, all the bluster of him going upon the opening of Parliament was all hot air.  It will be interesting to see what Ntate Motsoahae’s ABC opponents and others will now do next now that he has trashed the decision to pick Rapapa?

It is also now abundantly clear that confusion continues to reign supreme in the ABC. The secretary general announces that the party’s NEC has settled on one Ntate Rapapa as successor, the party’s leader in turn calls the secretary-general “mad”.  While all this circus continues, there remains one certainty; the country will continue to crumble. Investors will not come to invest in a country which continuously makes headlines for the wrong reasons.  While Ntate Motsoahae’s departure will have been in the national interest and good for the country, it’s now clear that it is not going to happen. Does anyone out there honestly believe that Lady Dee was ever going to allow Ntate Motsoahae to leave State House? If you do, please you need to have your head read by that Durban sangoma. Leave for KZN now.

Ache!!!

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