Dear all members of the new cabinet


Let me start by congratulating you all for landing your plum cabinet posts. I cannot imagine just how happy you all are at landing these top notch positions that not only enable you to serve your nation at the zenith of politics, but also guarantees you a very comfortable chauffeur and caviar inspired life.
The extent to which I witnessed many of you salivating during the swearing-in ceremony is perfectly understandable.
You have every reason to be joyous. But please remember that your honeymoon ended the moment you took the oath of office on Monday.
The serious work begins now. For those of you who never expected to be in cabinet, please resist the temptation of spending the rest of this year celebrating your appointment at the expense of real work.

Scrutator already wants you to outline your plans of action for your ministries in a very lucid and coherent fashion. So do most Basotho. We want to know how you will use your portfolio to transform our lives for the better.

Even though a cabinet of 26 is very bloated for our small impoverished Kingdom, the demands of coalition politics sometimes dictate otherwise. All and sundry ought to be accommodated and a big cabinet becomes inevitable. The good thing about all your portfolios is none can be classified as a “job for the boys” portfolio.
When I spent a month in Zimbabwe attending a month long training workshop, I read about inexplicably fogy portfolios that have existed at different stages since that country’s independence in 1980. The most notable ones are; “Ministry of Interactive Affairs”, “Ministry of Psychomotor Activities”, “Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluating Street Kids and Beggars”, “Ministry of National Scholarships”, “Ministry of Former War Fighters”, “Ministry of Parties, Recreation, Entertainment and National Cohesion”, “Ministry of National Healing”, “Ministry of Combating Fraud”, and so forth.

I use the example of his bizarre ministries to illustrate my point that all of your portfolios are relevant to the daily needs of Basotho and to the survival of this Kingdom.
Of course there a few duplications. Like Police and Home Affairs should realistically be one ministry of Home Affairs catering for both police and immigration services. I have never fully understood the need of having a ministry of justice and correctional services and another ministry of human rights, law and constitutional affairs instead of having one umbrella ministry.
The same goes for ministries of Forestry, Agriculture and Water Affairs, which must be ideally one.
This nevertheless is not a train smash. The important thing is you are all deployed in ministries relevant to our national needs.

I encourage all of you to spare a few minutes to watch a 14 minute youtube clip entitled How To Lead in Africa.
Or you can read Scrutator online and see the link attached at the end of the column.
There you will listen to one time ruler of Uganda, Idi Amin, addressing an open cabinet meeting and explaining to his ministers what the role of minister actually entails. Please forgive Amin’s hilarious broken English and just listen to the words and the punishment he prescribes for lazy ministers. I particularly encourage Mr Size Two to watch this video clip as well. In fact it will be better if it was played at your next cabinet meeting as a precursor to serious business.
Pay particular attention to the punishment Amin prescribed to his ministers whom he deemed “weak and rotten”.
Michael Ondhoga was Amin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. His body, half devoured by crocodiles, was found floating in the Nile River, two weeks after that cabinet meeting. His crime was failure to educate foreigners that Uganda was not bankrupt but very rich.

Thank God we have no crocodiles in Katse and Mohale dams and Ntate Mosisili is generally a very nice guy. But from the outlook of the cabinet, it seems he wants results and the days of him as a Mr Nice guy are numbered.
Last week, I recommended what I think is very nice punishment for those of you who may turn out to be very incompetent. You must be made to eat live bull frogs with no cutlery, no tomato source and definitely no salt and pepper.
I must emphasize that I am generally very impressed with the cabinet. Its largely young, energetic with lots of new faces. For this, I say congratulations to Mr Size Two for bringing in fresh blood and not recycling dead wood.
It’s particularly commendable that some of the new ministers like Tsukutlane Au at Public Service, Kabelo Mafura at Forestry and Mapalesa Mokhokho at Agriculture have served as senior technocrats in the ministries they now lead. They are thus conversant with their portfolios.
Minister of Small Businesses, Cooperatives and Marketing, Thabiso Litšiba, bears a particularly onerous responsibility. It is widely acknowledged that small businesses are the engine of economic growth and employment creation in any economy. It is not the creation of the ministry itself that will result in job creation but the policies that the ministry will come up with to promote small business development that matter most. I am anxiously awaiting Ntate Litšiba’s plan of action to end the proliferation of car wash stalls, flea markets and maize roasting stalls as the idea of small businesses in Lesotho. We want more innovation in small business development.

Considering that this coalition would not have come to life without the contribution of the Kingmaker’s 12 seats, I am not sure a paltry five cabinet seats is adequate a reward for the LCD. But the decision was for the Kingmaker to make. If I were him, I would have agitated for more.
There is also severe under representation in the new cabinet of my sisterhood fraternity. The cabinet is overwhelmingly male with only four females. When vacancies start arising, I hope sooner rather than later through the inevitable deaths of incumbents or firings of those who turn out to be incompetent, it will be an opportunity for Mr Size Two to remedy this intolerable situation. I am particularly miffed that the prettiest face in the sisterhood fraternity, Lineo Molise, is missing from Cabinet. How will my four sisters feel in the company of 22 prying eyes around the expansive cabinet table? We need some equilibrium please.
Let’s see how you will all perform guys. I will keep a very close eye. Have a good Easter break and use the long weekend to brew the traditional drink and thank your ancestors for your appointment. Come next week, your celebrations must have ended and the hard work continues.

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