UNLESS you are a permanent resident of the recently discovered Planet Nandos, and pay the occasional visit to see us here on mother earth and thus completely out of touch with reality. Or unless you reside on cloud cuckoo land, then you have to agree with Scrutator that the spectre of a Prime Minister Mahao is no longer only a distinct possibility, it is now inevitable.
Following Ntate Mahao’s crushing victory this week, I think it will be senseless for the Samonyane Ntsekele faction to keep fighting to achieving the impossible; the reversal of the 1-2 February 2019 ABC elective outcome. The very lucid and sagacious judgment of Justices Thamsanqa Nomngcongo, Moroke Mokhesi and Sakoane Sakoane should settle this matter once and for all.
But will it? Will the Ntsekele faction smell the coffee and do the right thing. Only time will tell.
Even though I am strictly supposed to be apolitical, my sympathies for the All Basotho Convention are a matter of public record. I voted ABC on June 3 2017. I had to. Otherwise Tlali Kamoli’s murderous rein would have continued. It therefore breaks my heart to see this political behemoth of Ntate Motsoahae tearing itself apart.
The judgment of the High Court this week should put an end to all the bickering in the ABC. It should settle matters once and for all. The Ntsekele faction must accept defeat. The Mahao faction must be magnanimous in victory.
BoNtate Motsoahae, Mahao, Ntsekele, Hlaele and Majoro must now sit down and bury the hatchet. They must put the interests of the ABC ahead of everything else.
It would be futile for Ntate Ntsekele and his faction to even attempt to appeal this week’s verdict. Not least because Ntate Mosito and his group would be waiting to trash any such appeal (and for good reasons). There is simply no judge worth his or her salt who would ever rule against Mahao and the new NEC’s February 2019 victory.
There is a greater chance of having Robert Mugabe win the Mo Ibrahim annual leadership prize for good governance and walking away with its whooping US$5 million prize than having the Mahao faction victory nullified. Better still, there is a greater chance of the second coming happening on 30 June 2019 than having the Mahao victory nullified. No reasonable court will ever find against the Mahao faction. I sat in court and felt pity for the lawyers representing the Ntsekele faction and the three legislators who brought the application. They tried hard to argue an unarguable case. The problem in Lesotho remains of having too many lawyers. They never miss an opportunity to take up any case. They will not advise clients against wasting time and abusing the court process. How, for instance can one explain the behaviour of Advocate Hoane in agreeing to represent those three musketeers who brought that insane case that the ABC constitution does not allow for elective conferences? How else can one explain the behaviour of the lawyers agreeing to represent clients who claim that the 1-2 February elective conference was rigged? Really? How on this earth can opponents ever rig elections against incumbents in power? Can Bokang Ramatšella surely rig the 2022 elections (assuming we get that far) or any other elections to become Prime Minister? If that is possible, I say go for it Ramatšella. How could Mahao (the opponent) have possibly rigged elections against the incumbents (the Ntsekele faction)?
Ntate Ntsekele and his group must now put the interests of the ABC and of this country first and concede defeat and allow Mahao and his new NEC to assume power. But above all, Ntate Motsoahae must show leadership and unite his party. It does not help continuing to continue refusing to accept the reality that no sane and sober judge would ever overturn an election of a political party. Certainly not on the basis of the stingy and pedestrian arguments put before court by the Ntsekele faction’s lawyers and others.
I put the following question to the Ntsekele group. Would you rather destroy the ABC or accept the people’s verdict? If I were you, I would happily accept the people’s verdict and save the ABC. Otherwise, you are creating an opportunity for Kamoli to come back through the back door. If that happens, we will all live to regret it.
Granted, allowing the new NEC to take office does not necessarily guarantee Ntate Mahao’s assumption of the ABC leadership and with it the future premiership of the country. The ABC would still have to convene another leadership contest to get a replacement for Ntate Motsoahe if and when he eventually retires. Be that as it may, I still insist that it’s no longer a matter of if, but when Ntate Mahao goes to State house. The question that should now grip our imaginations and national psyche is whether or not Ntate Mahao would be a good Prime Minister.
Methinks that Ntate Mahao is fit for purpose. He will be a good Prime Minister even though he is yet to fully pronounce on his policy trajectory. He is also capable of forging a strong alliance. He is respected internationally. He is highly educated and knows what needs to be done to put Lesotho out of squalor. As I have argued before, a Mahao led government, with Moeketsi Majoro, playing a prominent role (either in his current finance portfolio or as deputy prime minister) will be a definite winner. Seasoned politicians in the Ntsekele faction, including Ntate Ntsekele himself, will add strength to the Mahao led government. I bet Ntate Mahao is a professional. He will not victimise his old nemesis in the Ntsekele group but will unite the ABC.
For the last time, I am thus appealing to the Mahao and Ntsekele factions to come together and unite the ABC. If this cannot be done or if the Ntsekele faction remains uninterested with embracing reality, then I appeal to the Ntsekele faction to do the honourable thing; that is to walk away from the ABC and form a new party. While that will mortally wound the ABC, it will also end the circus. Surely Basotho deserve better.
Still on the subject of circuses, it is always good when Bokang Ramatšella of the Lesotho Congress (whatever) emerges every now and then to give us something to laugh about. In a letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ramatšella invites the court to prosecute Ntate Motsoahae for what he calls crimes against humanity. Ramatšella also claims that as a result of his letter, the ICC prosecutors have been in the country probing Ntate Motsoahae with a view of hauling him before the ICC, Slobodan Milosevic or Charles Taylor style. Scrutator would have loved to see one of these ICC prosecutors for a cup of Rooibos tea. Where is Ramatsella hosting them? Kubetsoana or Mohale? Please tell us Bokang. It is clear these prosecutors are a figment of Ramatšella’s fertile imagination.
Granted Scrutator shares Ramatšella’s concerns with the shoddy nature of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service under the leadership of Ntate Molibeli. There is no doubt that under Molibeli’s leadership the LMPS is proving to be a big disappointment. Murderers and rapists are roaming our streets while innocent suspects are brutalised. But for Ramatšella to go all the way to the ICC, claiming that Ntate Motsoahae is committing crimes against humanity is a bit rich. It all proves what a pedestrian politician Ramatšella really is.
For starters, Ramatšella does not know the procedure and workings of the ICC. It is not my intention to start educating him about that here. Suffice to say that Ramatšella must be reminded that the real crimes against humanity are those he cheered while his close friend and ally, one Tlali Kamoli, murdered innocent Basotho and dumped their bodies in Mohale. A long list of those Basotho is available for all to see. Can Ramatšella show us a single Mosotho killed at the behest of Ntate Motsoahae since the latter came back into power? The answer is zilch. In fact, it was Kamoli’s crimes against humanity, cheered along by Ramatšella, that brought Ntate Motsoahae back into power. This partly explains why the current war of attrition in the ABC becomes most tragic. If the government collapses and the ABC somehow loses (either under Thabane or Mahao), then Kamoli will be back on the streets. Real crimes against humanity will begin again with Ramatšella cheering. That is an eventuality any peace loving Mosotho must loath. So for good and for better, the Mahao and Ntsekele factions must sit down and talk. And for Ramatšella, the wannabe politician, it is surely time you grow up.