Selibe promises radical reforms

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. . . vows to effect performance-based contracts for ministers if elected

’Marafaele Mohloboli

MOVEMENT for Economic Change (MEC) leader Selibe Mochoboroane has promised sweeping changes should his party win the 3 June 2017 elections, including performance-based contracts for cabinet ministers to ensure efficient service delivery to the electorate.

Mr Mochoboroane has also promised to prioritise implementation of the Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi-led Southern African Development Community (SADC) Commission of Inquiry recommendations on constitutional, security and media reforms among others to end Lesotho’s cycle of political instability.

Addressing close to 3 000 supporters during a weekend rally in Mohale’s Hoek, the MEC leader promised service delivery and economic changes within 18 months if elected as premier.

Lesotho will hold its third polls in five years after King Letsie III acceded to Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s advice to dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections. This was after Dr Mosisili’s government lost a 1 March 2017 parliamentary no-confidence motion sponsored by a four-party opposition bloc.

Mr Mochoboroane formed the MEC in February this year after parting ways with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) of which he was secretary-general. During the MEC launch, he said the party’s raison d’être was fighting economic stagnation, poor service delivery and high unemployment, especially among youths.

“Evident change shall be seen in service delivery and the economy with our people producing their own products since those issues are among the MEC’s pillars,” Mr Mochoboroane said, adding that he had already visited most areas in Mohale’s Hoek and assessed the needs of the people.

“I have heard the cry for infrastructure, water and electricity, and I promise you that these you are going to get after the elections when MEC comes into power.

“This is the time to deliver our promises and move away from the politics of poverty and cheap propaganda. It’s now time to better people’s lives.”

The former Small Business Development minister told the gathering the power to elect a government that serves their interests was in their hands.

“You have the power to change this country’s economy and you are the only people who can actually free yourselves from the slavery of poor services and economy as well as lack of jobs.”

If elected as premier, Mr Mochoboroane said all his cabinet ministers would sign performance-based contracts “with all those who fail to deliver being booted out”.

“I would boot them out not because I perceive them as a threat but on their failure to deliver,” he said, adding that any minister who failed to reach set performance targets in the first 100 days would “have a lot to answer for”.

Mr Mochoboroane also promised to prioritise implementation of the SADC Commission of Inquiry recommendations.

The 10-member team of legal and security experts probed Lesotho’s security and political challenges following the fatal shooting of former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao by his colleagues in June 2015.

The inquiry, which was carried out between 31 August and 23 October 2015, recommended that government should investigate the killing and prosecute those found to be responsible. It also recommended constitutional, security and public sector reforms to bring lasting peace and stability in the country.

Mr Mochoboroane said failure to implement the recommendations would result in a cycle of perennial instability.

“Unless the process of reforms is initiated, Lesotho will always be stagnant and coalition governments will always be prematurely terminated,” he said.

“We already have two failed coalition governments and this is mainly because our Constitution is very silent on their administration. If we don’t institute reforms, we will still be faced with the same problems and money will be wasted on polls instead of being used to advance developmental issues.”

Mr Mochoboroane added: “Coalition agreements signed by political party leaders are not enough on their own to stabilise the government. This has been shown by the collapse of the first coalition government in which the prime minister was accused of making decisions without consulting his partners.”

Lesotho’s first coalition government was formed after the 26 May 2012 elections resulted in a hung parliament with All Basotho Convention leader Thomas Thabane cobbling seats with Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader, Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Basotho National Party’s Thesele ‘Maseribane.

However, the tripartite coalition government collapsed in 2014 amid allegations by Mr Metsing that Dr Thabane was making decisions as premier without consulting his partners.

Following the collapse of Dr Thabane’s tripartite coalition in 2014, elections were also held on 28 February 2015. The polls also resulted in a hung parliament with the Dr Mosisili-led Democratic Congress partnering with six other parties to form the now outgoing coalition government on 4 March 2015.

Mr Mochoboroane said floor crossing reforms needed to be enacted to ensure political stability.

“The issue of floor crossing has to be included when the constitutional reforms are being implemented since it can affect the balance of power in the National Assembly, and thus destabilise the government,” he said, adding that public service appointments should be depoliticised to ensure continuity in the affairs of state.

“For instance principal secretaries (PSs) should be hired from the public service and civil society instead of being political appointees. This will enable the government to be stable without any political disruptions in the administration of the state.”

“PSs should be appointed on the basis of their skills and competence and this will help the government to do away with nepotism.”

The same should apply to the security sector, the MEC leader said.

“There is need for an equally clear and transparent recruitment and promotion policy. We don’t want to have competent officers being side-lined just because they are not politically connected.”

Mr Mochoboroane also touched on media reforms in an interview with the Lesotho Times on the side-lines of the rally, saying there was a need to speedily implement the long stalled media policy that had been gathering dust for years.

“Our media is very polarized right now and there is an urgent need for all stakeholders to understand their roles. The media policy will not only benefit the media but the listeners and readers as well. As a result, the media should participate in the reforms since they are the key stakeholders,” he added.

 

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