Home Scrutator Of the national reforms and YES party!!!

Of the national reforms and YES party!!!

by Lesotho Times
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THE problem with Lesotho is that it has too many busy bodies. Or perhaps too many idle bodies wanting to get busy.

I have been watching with a deep sense of chagrin, trepidation and a little foreboding as the reforms process has limped from one disaster to another, courtesy of the usual suspects; the politicians and some civic “activists” wanting to make names for themselves, possibly with an eye to carving out their own political futures.  After all, we are a country of more politicians and political parties than voters.

Speaking of which I have just learned of a “political party” called YES.  Yes, I mean a party called YES. Or better still YEARN FOR ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILTY; its full name.

Apparently, it was started by one, Molefi Ntšonyane, a mocha-o-chele vendor, just before the October 2022 general elections. It competed and got zero votes, meaning Ntate Ntšonyane did not bother to vote for himself.  No, the YES party believes it has a mandate to go to court and scupper the reforms process. We are talking of a “political party” not supported by its own leader.  Where does it get the mandate to scupper our reforms process from? And how did an airtime vendor ever hope to upstage the RFP helicopters in an election? Don’t be surprised perhaps. That’s Lesotho for you.  We manufacture more politicians than garments. If it was possible to export politicians, we would be commanding the highest per capita income in the world. I will return to the YES party later in this article.

I have no doubt that some of Lesotho’s daytime and nighttime activists mean well.  For instance, I do believe that Ntate Kananelo Boloetse of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) fame, who has now thrown a new obstacle into the reforms process, means really well. After all, he has already scored one major success. He is the activist who teamed up with the indefatigable Lintle Tuke (of Law Society fame) to nullify Moeketsi Majoro’s declaration of a state of emergency last year to justify the crass incompetence of some good for nothing politicians in the now fallen 10th parliament.

Imagine, these politicians were so incompetent that Ntate Majoro had to declare a state of emergency to get them back to do their work of passing the Omnibus Constitutional Bill. Where had they been?  Imagine what would have happened if Ntate Boloetse had not challenged the absurdity and rank madness of declaring a state of emergency to get MPs to do what they are paid for?

Imagine a situation wherein a state of emergence would be required every time politicians have to do some work?  Ntate Boloetse saved us. Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane saved us by rightly outlawing Ntate Majoro’s bizarre state of emergency process.   Thank God most of these 10th parliament MPs did not return. They were submerged by the RFP’s helipads. We have to thank their helicopter successors for flying over them and ensuring that they did not return to the august House.

Ntate Boloetse did a good thing then. I am not exactly sure about his latest bid to stop parliament from sitting to pass the Omnibus Bill on Monday.  He thinks that the Omnibus Bill now belongs to the graveyard. It is a ghost. It must never be resurrected nor reincarnated in whatever shape or form. He also wants all laws that began in the 10th parliament, but were not passed before its dissolution, only to get approved by the 11th parliament, scrapped.  How realistic is that goal?  I have been debating with myself.

Since many such laws have been passed by the new 11th parliament, would we still have any laws left to regulate the country if Ntate Boloetse gets his way? I doubt.

He wants the Omnibus Bill scrapped and drawn anew. He says he does not like it partly because it stifles media freedom. He alleges it also tries to bring back the criminal defamation law that was outlawed at the behest of the publisher of this newspaper way back in 2018.

I had missed that bit about the Omnibus Bill. I have read it and have not seen where it seeks to restore criminal defamation. If it does that, then that will be truly abominable. Criminal defamation has not place in any civilised society. Why attempt to take away my right to defame, malign and lampoon whomsoever?

But having read the entire Omnibus Bill – albeit with a few misses here and there – I must state with no equivocation that it is a good piece of law. I particularly like the way it seeks to strengthen and depoliticise certain key institutions of the State.

There is no doubt the Omnibus Bill will be good for Lesotho.  Still Ntate Boloetse has every right to be unhappy with it if he so pleases.

What I fail to comprehend is why Ntate Boloetse waited all this long to emerge from under his rock and throw an obstacle in the way of the completion of this very important reform process?   Why is he only now realising the “badness” of the Omnibus Bill now? He says he was not consulted when it was drawn. Did he expect to be consulted at his house? Or to be consulted at his girlfriend’s house? Or at his wife’s house? Why did he not go to National Reforms Authority forums to argue his case and not wait for the drafting of the Bill to be completed?  Why did he not participate in the outreach programmes through which Basotho aired their views? Why did he expect special treatment? Where was he?

If he succeeds in forestalling the reforms process, I think Ntate Boloetse would have done a great disservice to this country. The reforms process is for our own good. The sooner it is completed the better.  To say it must be restarted afresh is a tard unrealistic. Restarted by who, for whom and for what?

If Ntate Boloetse had wanted to challenge the Bill, he had donkey months and years to do it.

Still as an activist, I think ntate Boloetse means well, I am not sure the same can be said of Mr Boloetse’s strange bedfellow, the ganjaman and Rastafarian Motsamai Mokotjo of Bacha Shutdown fame and his colleague at that morose outfit, one Resetselemang Jane. Ironically, Mr Boloetse belongs to both MISA and Bacha Shutdown.  If I were him I would stick to the former.

I do not know where bontate Mokotjo and Jane draw their mandate from. Nor what they represent.  It seems their Bacha Shutdown does not have a proper letterhead, judging from the daily letters they dispatch to anyone who cares to receive them.  I will not speculate about whether they have an office or not. But they are quite prolific.  They dispatch daily countless letters to everyone from MPs, to ministers, businessmen and to even Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.  I don’t know where they derive their energy from.  They start their day by writing letters to everybody – including the Prime Minister – ordering them to do this or that. The fact that no one bothers to read their letters nor favour them with responses does not seem to discourage them. Their view of active citizenship is quite amazing. If only they could define their mandate, get proper letterheads (they don’t necessarily need an office). And then find a name to replace the execrable epithet:  Bacha Shutdown. They then might just start to get taken seriously by a few at least.

The same could be said of the YEARN FOR ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY (YES) “political party”. I don’t know what Ntate Ntšonyane had in mind when he devised such a ludicrous name for his party. But then Lesotho is not short of parties with strange names.  Witness   other names of “political parties” like the Prayer, Shawl and Light (PSL), which claims to have been sent by Jesus to save Lesotho, and which has been at loggerheads with Ntate Mpaiphele Maqutu, the boss of the IEC, after he announced his plans to deregister it.  Wow! What a name.

Also witness other names of other “political parties” like the All Democratic Corporation (ADC), Tšepo Ea Basotho (TEB), Alliance of all Basotho Victims (ABV), Majalefa Development Movement (MDM) and the forever lovable White Horse Party (WHP)? Could it be that we now have so many political parties that we have run out of suitable names? I don’t know but Ntate Boloetse might just have committed a grave error by teaming up with the YEARN FOR ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY “political party” in his latest litigation.  On account of that error alone, his application to nullify the reforms must fail.  But maybe Scrutator should also just consider forming her own party to counter those who want to stall the reforms. I hereby name it the YEARN FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE REFORMS PROCESS (YFTCOTRP) party.  That surely ought to be the easiest acronym to grasp. As you know, parties need money and resources to sustain. Which explains why we have so many of them. I need your vote but more importantly, I need financial help to sustain my party for the betterment of this country. Please be generous and contact me with your donations.


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