NEVER in my life had I ever thought I would live to see this moment. A moment in which our two political behemoths would realise the need to come together and work for the good of Basotho. A moment in which Mantlharunye tenure would be abruptly cut. I am smiling.
The ABC/DC deal is effectively the real government of national unity (GNU), which Ntate Mothetjoa Metsing has always clamoured for. It is what this country needs at this moment. Never mind that we have a million political parties. A real GNU comes into being when the two biggest political adversaries in any country forge a deal to form one government. In our case, this is the ABC and DC.
A GNU needs not incorporate everyone. Otherwise we will be asking Bokang Ramatsella and his 60 votes to come on board with his LPC (or whatever it is called). It becomes untenable. Still, the fact that a plethora of other smaller parties in parliament are supporting the ABC/DC deal is significant. It makes it even better. I hope they are all not expecting cabinet posts though. Lesotho cannot afford that.
As I am writing this instalment, I am concerned though by rumours doing the rounds suggesting that Ntate Motsoahae no longer wants to go immediately after having endorsed the ABC/DC deal early in the week. Just before my deadline for submission of this article, I heard he was still locked in a meeting with ABC legislators to try and persuade them that he should lead the new coalition until end of July 2020. That obviously flies in the face of all expectations that we will have Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro in office from Friday next week.
I insist. You must also insist. BoNtate Majoro and Mathibeli Mokhothu must be sworn into office as prime minister and deputy prime minister immediately. Someone must tell Ntate Motsoahae to stop all his dance-acts and pussyfooting. We are tired of his shenanigans and Tomfooleries. Ntate Motsoahae is not bigger than this country. He is not bigger than the ABC. He must go now. We want no more stumbling blocks. Enough is Enough. This country must move forward. This country is stagnant. This country needs a leader. It needs a young leader. BoNtate Majoro and Mokhothu are a perfect fit?
There is nothing magical about the July 2020 date that Ntate Motsoahae is insisting on leaving. What difference is it going to make?
What is he going to achieve in the remaining two months until July 2020 that he could not achieve in the 55 years that he so often brags of having spent in the civil service and in politics?
If he does not want to quit, he leaves me with no option but to rally support to hire Ntate Matekane’s bulldozer to evict him from State House. Any volunteers are welcome!!!
This country needs a new trajectory. It needs to go forward. Ntate Motsoahae should not hold it hostage. He is now in the twilight of his life. He should go and rest.
Basotho want a new leader. The world wants a new leader. We all want to hear what our new leader has to say. We need movement. We are anxiously awaiting to hear Ntate Majoro’s plan of action to extricate us from our current squalor. But Ntate Majoro is harmstrung by Ntate Tom’s continued Tomfoolery. Ntate Motsoahae and ‘Mantlharunye must go. They must go now. If they have not made any post State House accommodation plans, I have an empty cottage in my backyard. The next tenant only moves in August. They are welcome to use it in the meantime.
We should no longer be discussing their departure date. That debate should be long closed. We should be anticipating Ntate Majoro’s inauguration speech. We should be advising him about what we expect from him; his first tasks.
I would rather spend my time doing that. There is no stopping Ntate Majoro from assuming the reins. Here is my advice on what he ought to do as soon as he is sworn into office.
- COVID 19: ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESS: If you are a business owner and have been expecting any coherent policy approach from Ntate Motsoahe about helping small businesses during these difficult times, then you need to go see a psychiatrist soon after finishing reading this. You don’t belong to this planet. This is one reason why Ntate Motsoahae should leave office now. Ntate Majoro needs to come to the rescue. He should immediately go to the World Bank and IMF to seek help for businesses that have been ravaged by Covid-19. Massive unemployment is looming unless businesses get help. This must be Ntate Majoro’s first priority. Ntate Motsoahae has failed the business sector, and the nation at large. I will not be surprised if he has not even heard of Covid-19. He has done nothing about it.
- HUNDRED DAY PLAN: Any new leader’s first 100 days in office are critical to the success of their mission. They set the tone for the rest of their term. They help the electorate assess whether things have indeed changed. Since Ntate Motsoahae has been sleeping on the job, Ntate Majoro’s first 100 days are going to be clearly important. The world will eagerly await to see whether he has a clear, concise vision to transform Lesotho. He must articulate that in his first 100 days in office. Lesotho requires a clear economic plan to elevate it from its place among the most wretched of the earth to a better lane.
- OPENING BEER BOTTLES WITH TEETH: Let’s hope Covid-19 will be over soon and Ntate Majoro is able to engage widely with other world leaders on state visits. He must travel to key source countries for potential investment. He must inform the world he is the new sheriff in town. He must declare that Lesotho is open for business. And whenever he is at official luncheons with other world leaders and captains of industry, he must go with greasy hands and open beer or wine bottles on the tables with his teeth to prove he means business. He must nag the local US embassy for an invite to the White House. If it materialises, he must carry with him his beautiful wife to rival Melania Trump.
- COMPETENT AND SERIOUS CABINET: Perhaps, this is Ntate Majoro’s biggest and most important task. Without competent ministers in the right portfolios, his tenure is doomed. It helps that some of the incompetents who have plagued the current coalition have openly opposed Ntate Majoro and there is no incentive for him to keep them. For instance, the celebrated charlatan Chalane Phori, is happy to become Ntate Motsoahae’s butler once the latter is out of office. That is a huge relief. Ntate Phori is better of carrying Ntate Motsoahae’s briefcases and files to and from court for the Lipolelo case. He should be nowhere near cabinet, particularly in a crunch portfolio like small business, the engine of economic growth. Equally with ‘Mantlharunye now gone, there will no longer be any need for Ntate Tefo Mapesela. To his huge credit, Ntate Mapesela did well in keeping ‘Mantlharunye under check. He was one of the few ministers to openly oppose and criticize ‘Mantlharune. We will certainly miss Ntate Mapesela’s garrulous streak. But for now, we need a serious cabinet. Ntate Mapesela must do constituency work. He must ensure that all the herd-boys in the constituencies are getting food parcels or any other Covid assistance on offer.
- LEAN CABINET: Even though Ntate Majoro now finds himself at the helm of an unwieldly GNU with every Tsepo, Tsepiso and Tsepang expecting a cabinet post, he should be firm. Lesotho cannot afford a huge cabinet like the one currently in place. Ntate Majoro’s coalition partners should understand that. A cabinet of 10 ministers would be the best. But that would be politically suicidal for Ntate Majoro. Maybe 20 at most for political purposes (but that will almost rival the US cabinet). Ntate Majoro should do all he can to win over his coalition partners. Make them understand they cannot all be ministers. Encourage them to seek opportunities in the private sector while supporting him. The days when a job in politics is seen as the most lucrative option out of penury should become history. Politicians should try their hands in business. There is also a sure need to merge some portfolios. I have never understood why we have a Ministry of Law and Constitutional Affairs led by Ntate Habofanoe Lehana and a Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services currently led by Ntate Semano Sekatle. I have never understood the logic behind splintering these ministries. They should all be merged under one Ministry of Justice. South Africa, whose economy is a million times bigger than ours, has one Ministry of Justice. Ntate Majoro should create one Ministry of Justice under the able leadership of Ntate Lekhetho Rakuoane.
- MATCHING SKILL TO PORTFOLIO: Speaking of Ntate Rakuoane, he represents a good example of matching skill to portfolio. He is a competent, experienced lawyer and would well in the job. It would not make sense to make him Minister of Health. Lesotho is littered with the history of cabinet appointments that never made sense. For example, a teacher is appointed Minister of Health, a post that should be reserved to a medical doctor. A former goat-herder like Ntate Phori is appointed to take charge of the small business portfolio. Since when has got herding equated to small business? In the same vein, a Finance Minister must be an economist, and not a professional plumber like Bokang Ramatsela for instance.
- BUYING NTATE MOSITO A NEW CHAIR: Ntate Kananelo Mosito must immediately be bought a new comfortable chair. The one he was sitting in during the opening of the legal year of hic court this week appeared a bit wobbly and uncomfortable. He must be comfortably ensconced in the seat of president of the Court of Appeal. All pending cases for his impeachment by Ntate Motsoahae must not only be withdrawn, they must be withdrawn with all the contempt they deserve. As our only indigenous white man to scale such heights, he must invested with Lesotho’s highest honour: Knight Commander of the Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe. He deserves it. He is a man of honour.
- IMPEACHMENT OF Mme MAHASE: While processes are underway to award Ntate Mosito with the highest honour, other processes to impeach one Masefaro Mahase — aka acting chief justice — must be expedited. She should be left free to go and join ‘Mantlharunye’s new People’s Convention party as political adviser (if it’s all true that that is the route ‘Mantlharunye has now taken).
- BUDGET STATEMENTS: If Ntate Majoro insists on the austerity measures he has enunciated in his budget statements, he will quickly gain the trust of Basotho. He will put himself well on the road to success. No more lavish and unnecessary travels to just about every unnecessary destination by ministers and PSs. Imagine, we have had ministers booking flights to places as wretched as Mongolia and Siberia just for them to pocket per diems. More importantly, no more napping trips to Paris and back for Joang Molapo (if he survives the chop).
- SPURNING PREDECESSOR INFLUENCE: The temptation is always there for an old leader to try and influence his successor. Ntate Motsoahae will try to pull strings from behind the scenes. If he tries, he must be spurned at all costs. Ntate Majoro should be left to run his own show. He must be allowed a free hand. Ntate Motsoahae should focus on preparing his Lipolelo defence. If he gets acquitted he should live his remaining days in peace. If he gets convicted, I will be on hand to deliver him toothpaste to Maseru maximum every month. Just hoping he won’t be put in the same cell section with Tlali Kamoli. We want eternal peace in our prisons.
If Ntate Majoro does all the above things, he will be well on the road to success. If he doesn’t, he will encounter problems. I want him to succeed. I will support him to succeed. Every Mosotho with five brains, every Mosotho with two and half brains, every Mosotho with no brain — we must all support Ntate Majoro and his deputy Ntate Mokhothu. They are our only saviours. I will continue advising them on what they should do and what they should not do?
Viva Majoro Viva. Viva Mokhothu Viva.