Is Mosisili a dictator as implied in the Wikileaks cable?

Another kind of journalism of its own sort called Wikileaks has hit Lesotho.

Many people are baffled as to whether to take Wikileaks’ investigations as valid or just dismiss them.

To some people Wikileaks cannot be wholly trusted. Meaning it is regarded as a tool intended to cause political instabilities and put governments into disrepute.

But others think Wikileaks is indeed a reliable and credible source. It is investigative journalism at its best!

It doesn’t matter whether you think Wikileaks is plausible or not.

That is not an issue here. Its credibility is open for debate.

The issue at hand is whether assertions released in the cable of August 30 are relevant.

Does the alleged conversation between the secretary general of the LCD, Mothetjoa Metsing, and the former US Ambassador conform to what we already know about the leadership of this country?

Some will argue that there is nothing new to Basotho from the cable, they already knew about all the issues raised in the cable, including particularly the issue of the prime minister being perceived as “authoritarian”.

Apart from the assertion presented in the cable that “Mosisili’s decision not to retire at the end of his current term and his ‘dictatorial’ behaviour in keeping a tight reign on party activities”, there are still more observable tendencies which support Metsing’s assertions in the cable.

Our prime minister uses some phrases which I find very unfortunate, especially when being uttered by a person holding such a high position in the country.

Phrases like, “ke pana poho e bohla” connoting whether we like or not we will do our leader’s will, this implies he will be our prime minister even if that is contrary to our will and vote.

Then we begin to doubt what kind of democracy we have in Lesotho if a leader will rule us even if that is contrary to the electorate’s will.

Another expression comprises a phrase like “ketla le busa ho fihlela le tloaela”, connoting that he will be the leader ad infinitum.

These unfortunate expressions are a clear indication of disregard for democracy.

Such words cannot be uttered by a leader who is democratic.

This is a clear case of a leader who doesn’t respect himself as well as those he governs.

Such words are uttered by leaders who seek life-presidency or those who seek to be prime ministers for life.

But I’m not surprised because this is how most African leaders perceive things.

Look at Muammar Gadaffi and his companion, he never thought that one day things would be the way they presently are in Libya. Gadaffi was also a kind of leader “ea panang poho e bohla” and also “ea busang batho ho fihlela ba tloaela”.

Apart from the Wikileaks cable about the prime minister and his expressions, there was a saga on corruption in the prime minister’s office where ‘Marapelang Raphuthing, the Finance and Administration Director in the Prime Minister’s office was charged with corruption which led to her dismissal (Sunday Express August 28 – September 3 2011).

Scrutator in the Lesotho Times critiqued the issue, but seemed to be only interested in the “porn” side of the story.

Now we will focus on “authoritarian” streak in the story.

In a democratic country we don’t expect such kind of authoritarianism which is accompanied by corruption.

But here the issue is authoritarianism not corruption even though it is clearly portrayed in Raphuthing’s assertions.

So should we say those cables are only meant to tarnish the prime minister’s reputation by portraying him as a dictator while he’s not?

Should we say the article in the cable is irrelevant to how things are in Lesotho, particularly the governance?

It is up to you to decide.

Moeketsi is a sub-editor on  the Lesotho Times and Sunday Express

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