Enough is enough. This Majestic Kingdom cannot continue being held hostage to the endless infighting and skullduggery of ABC politicians at the expense of development and progress. It’s high time Basotho stood up and declare their disdain for the ABC’s infinite kindergarten plays. These cannot be tolerated anymore. Enough is enough. This intolerably poor country deserves better.
For the avoidance of any doubts, Scrutator is not a fan of Prime Minister Majoro. I however totally disagree with the way in which he is being treated by his ABC. I thus have a novel suggestion for Ntate Majoro. He can only ignore it at his own peril. I will return to this later.
My disillusionment with Ntate Majoro is a result of his unremarkable and unspectacular performance in government thus far. Readers of this column will remember that after his inauguration in May last year, I was Ntate Majoro’s greatest cheerleader. Here was a man who appeared to be more of a technocrat and less of a routine self-aggrandizing Lesotho politician. I thought he would get things done. Unlike his predecessor, he was also immensely handsome. I had all the confidence that Ntate Majoro would lead us to the promised land. He had and still has a decent wife who does not meddle in government business like her predecessor Lady Dee. Above all, Ntate Majoro is highly educated with a PHD in Economics. He has also a veritable network of contacts having worked at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), even though some of his opponents try to discredit him by claiming he was a mere mail delivery boy during his time at the Bretton Woods institutions.
I had thought that Ntate Majoro would bring his technocratic experience to bear on our politics. He would change the way things are done. He would articulate a clear economic policy to take us out of our perennial doldrums. Alas, the opposite seems to be obtaining. Lesotho in crisis.
Things have gotten worse under his stewardship. Firstly, Ntate Majoro disappointed by delivering his entire inaugural address in May 2020 in Sesotho. The international investors – who were following his live address – and eager to hear his agenda were left stunned. Here was an opportunity for the highly anticipated new prime minister to clearly articulate his agenda in the language that investors and diplomats understand. In this very competitive world, investors have no time to look for translators. After they felt rightly snubbed, they simply looked elsewhere to invest their money. Secondly, Ntate Majoro did himself a great disservice by ignoring former EU ambassador to Lesotho, Christian Manhal’s advice, issued immediately after his inauguration, to articulate a clear economic policy to extricate Lesotho’s economy out of the ravages of covid. Generally speaking, 18 months after he took the reigns, I am not clear about what Ntate Majoro stands for and if he has any plan of action. His coalition appears to be a headless chicken.
The economy remains comatose. Legitimate government suppliers remain unpaid. Nobody seems to know what happened to the US$70 million that Lesotho was awarded to cushion itself from Covid-19. In the meantime, fraudsters who have not rendered any services are stealing tens of millions from the treasury. In a nutshell, Ntate Majoro has failed to restore my faith in government. I had high hopes for him. I am disappointed.
Nonetheless, all that does not justify the efforts in the ABC to oust him. Not least because these efforts are not driven by purely altruistic aims. Those pushing for Ntate Majoro’s ouster have not articulated intelligible reasons for seeking his dethronement as I have done above. They are driven by their own selfish agendas. Simply put, their main reason for wanting Majoro’s head is anchored in the Kenyan adage eloquently crafted by author Ngugi wa Thiongo; “it’s our time to eat”.
They accuse Majoro of enriching his cronies through projects like NACOSEC where tenders are allegedly being dished out without tender processes using the current emergency declaration to fight Covid as a ruse to bypass lawful procurement procedures. Even if that is true, it’s not a good enough reason to dethrone a prime minister. Ntate Majoro’s critics are not telling us how they will do things differently. If they recall Majoro to replace him with their own lackey, the script of corruption and embezzlement will simply continue, albeit with a different cast.
Ntate Masoetsa is partially right to state that the country has now gone to the dogs under Ntate Majoro. There is no service delivery and the murder rates have gone through the roof; thanks to Ntate Majoro’s faith in keeping a patently useless police commissioner. But why is Ntate Masoetsa only stating these facts now. In fact, Scrutator only heard them for the first ever time from Ntate Masoetsa’s interview with the Sunday Express in its latest edition. Where was Ntate Masoetsa when Scrutator was talking about all these issues?
The real reason why Ntate Thabane and his allies are after Ntate Majoro’s head is that they feel sidelined from the feeding trough. From the very onset, they never gave him a chance to do his job. Once he had excluded them from the cabinet gravy train, they went all out of their way to sabotage Ntate Majoro.
Ntate Majoro could have shamed them by doing his job well. He nonetheless played in their hands by leading Lesotho down the drain. Still, he must be given a chance to lead us into the elections next year. The ABC must sort out its internal issues first and then present its candidate for PM at the next elections.
Replacing Majoro with Nkaku Kabi is just not going to cut it. Not least because Kabi is himself an uninspiring candidate. The other coalition parties are also unlikely to support him. His performance in all the ministries he has served has been underwhelming. Appointing him PM is as good as reinstating Lady Dee as prime minister. Or appointing Thabo Thakalekoala as prime minister. Lesotho cannot afford that.
Ultimately, the only way out is for Basotho to elect another coherent party to lead the country. Not only is the ABC out of its depth, its internecine wars are unlikely to end soon. It’s time to give Mathibeli Mokhothu a chance. If the ABC cannot sort out its issues, as it certainly won’t, then maybe let’s just have elections now and get rid of it.
And that’s why I herewith advice Ntate Majoro to jettison the ABC and form his own party (Mahao style). If I were Majoro, that would now be my inevitable next course of action. The longer he keeps himself in the ABC – which is full of his enemies – the more he is pushing his entire career towards complete oblivion. Majoro should simply gather all the MPs in his cabinet and any others who support him and form a new party while floor crossing is still allowed. If all the other parties in his coalition support him, he will likely retain his post as premier and lead us at least until the elections before Ntate Mokhothu takes over.
Why did Ntate Masoetsa – the ABC spokesman – lie last week that there was no agenda to remove Ntate Majoro. Ntate Masoetsa was evasive when Pascalina Kabi asked him about the recall effort. He said there was nothing like that.
It was left to the Lesotho Times to tell the nation the truth in its headline “ABC recalls Majoro” despite Ntate Masoetsa’s original denials. He only confirmed the story long after the Lesotho Times had published it. But he did not apologise for his original lies. What would this country do without the Lesotho Times? I wander? If Ntate Masoetsa is to be a credible, respected, grandfatherly spokesman of the moribund ABC, then he should at least learn about telling the truth.
If I were Metsing . . .
What the hell does Mothetjoa Metsing think he is doing? Instead of presenting himself at court to answer treason charges levelled against him, he has decided to flee. He has used every trick in the book to try and forestall his trial. Why? The only reasonable inference to draw from his actions is that he probably knows he won’t survive the charges. But that is his problem to deal with and resolve and not Lesotho’s. This country cannot continue being held hostage by self-serving politicians. The reforms process must continue without Metsing. He can stay wherever he is indefinitely. He cannot continue hiding behind the reforms process as a way of avoiding trial.
When you are charged with a crime, you must answer and exonerate yourself. Period. But Metsing doesn’t want that. At least we now know from his deputy, Ntate Mokhosi, that he wants to stand trial after the reforms when “the judiciary would have been reformed to conduct fair trials”. What gibberish is that. The judiciary is – in its current state – able to determine whether or not Ntate Metsing inspired and conspired in the 30 August 2014 coup. That’s not a complicated issue requiring the reforms to be completed first. Any judge can deal with that matter. If we follow Ntate Metsing’s logic, then even all the rapists and murderers lurking around would be justified in demanding the completion of the reforms process before they are charged and tried. That’s untenable.
At least Ntate Selibe Mochoboroane has done the right thing by presenting himself before court and asking for a speedy trial. That is what a good and real leader does. If I were Metsing, I would emulate Mochoboroane and present myself before Chief Justice Sakoane.
Ntate Mochoboroane has not only proved that he is a man of steel nerves. He has also proved he is a real leader. By complying with Chief Justice Sakoane’s order, he has proved that he is a real man. Ntate Mochoboroane has done the right thing by extricating himself from Metsing. I had always suspected that he was not fighting to avoid trial out of his free will. He was probably just following Ntate Metsing along.
I have always thought that Ntate Mochoboroane is a future prime minister of Lesotho. He is still young and very hardworking. He at least articulates a clear agenda for the country. His party is even named after the thing that real matters; the economy. A coalition of the DC, BAP and the MEC is perhaps what Lesotho needs now. While the moribund ABC is left to continue with its war of attrition.
I have no doubt that Ntate Mochoboroane will put a solid defence and clear his name. Even if he fails and is locked up, he is still too young. On his return from jail, Lesotho will still need him. He can easily resuscitate his political career. Unlike Kabi, Mochoboroane’s performance as minister in all the portfolios he served in was overwhelming. He has a good track record.
By realizing that he is better off presenting himself before court and answering all the charges he is facing, Ntate Mochoboroane has done the right thing. That’s what a real leader does. A real leader conforms to the law. He does not run away from the law under any pretext. If Ntate Mochoboroane had followed Metsing in fleeing to Ventersdorp, I would have been disappointed in him. I would have withdrawn all my support for him. Because he has done the right thing, I say Viva, Mochoboroane Viva. Please repeat that loudly.