Home Scrutator The circus continues unabated

The circus continues unabated

by Lesotho Times
army vs police

LMPS Commissioner Khothatso Tšooana and LDF Commander Lt General Tlali Kamoli

Scrutator had hoped that last week would provide a definitive roadmap of where this country is now headed under our fractious political leadership.
But again this was not to be.
The circus in our Tom and Jerry coalition government continues unabated.
It all began with Mothetjoa “Marshmallow” Metsing’s dramatic announcement that his Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) had served divorce papers on its coalition partners and would now seek a new marriage with Pakalitha “Size Two” Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC).
No sooner had the ink dried on that so called agreement than Metsing’s party announced that it was suspending it to give “reconciliation” talks with Thomas “Cyclone Tom” Thabane and Thesele “Mr Sit On the Fence” Maseribane a chance to succeed.
Mr Marshmallow is truly living to his reputation.
After suspending the deal with Size Two, he has been eager to meet Cyclone Tom for the reconciliation talks.
If these succeed, he will go back and tell Size Two that their marriage is over before it has even begun. Talk of realpolitik.

Maseribane on his part continues doing what he has been doing best — sitting on the fence.
He has thus far not pronounced his party’s clear preferences in the coalition government.
There perhaps should be no prices for guessing.
If the current ruptures result in a realignment of sorts, he might end up sitting in Metsing’s chair. So by remaining coy and playing the political chase game wisely, Maseribane might just clinch a winner.
As Scrutator has repeatedly warned, the guaranteed loser of all this is Metsing and his faction of the LCD.
The party remains in such a state of confusion that it is guaranteed to come off far worse after all the circus has ended.
Assuming it will one day come to pass.

One time, Metsing is parading himself at press conferences and rallies with Mosisili declaring their new dalliance and pronouncing on their “inevitable” bid to form the new government .
The next time, he is telling his supporters that the deal with the DC has been “suspended” to give reconciliation talks with Thabane a chance.
Then the path changes again and Metsing pronounces that the deal with Size Two has been reinstated because Cyclone Tom is dragging his feet.
So there you have it my brothers and sisters.
As far as the LCD and Metsing are concerned, it’s a question of “now you see them, now you don’t . . . now you see them, now you don’t.” We all know what the hippo does in water.

The old horse of politics, Thabane, has so far exemplified first class political shrewdness.
His tenure seem secured.
At least in the foreseeable short term.
While Scrutator has a few gripes with our love struck, immensely handsome PM, I ought to give it to him.
Thabane is just a shrewd operator.
Throughout all the drama, Thabane has maintained a dignified silence.
He has assured the world he is in charge and a functional government is in place.
While Metsing hops from one position to another, Thabane has maintained a calm demeanor, ignoring all his rival’s antics.
It’s now clear Thabane is no longer interested in working with Metsing.
But he doesn’t say so publicly and categorically. Instead he is running rings around him.
It’s now clear no reconciliation talks will ever succeed.
But Thabane appears like he wants them to. Yet he is simply hedging his bets while waiting for the LCD leader to fall on his own sword.
What Thabane simply wants is to work with the LCD but without Metsing.
If a rival LCD faction opposed to Metsing has its way, then we will end up with a new BNP, ABC and one LCD faction coalition. Talk of realpolitik again.

As far as Scrutator can see, the LCD/DC thing is simply not going to fly.
Marshmallow and Size Two are not going to form a government.
The prorogation is here to stay.
Thabane is not going to open Parliament to facilitate his own firing.
He will keep it shut. The courts won’t intervene.
The men in robes will use the doctrine of separation of powers to keep away from this nasty dispute.
The King won’t intervene either.
Constitutionally, he must act on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The PM will exploit that to his full advantage. Those looking for Lt General Kamoli’s intervention will be disappointed.
He cannot possibly act.
The big brother, in whose womb Lesotho lives, has already issued a stern warning to Kamoli.
Try any mischief and we will flush you out.
Come March 2015, Thabane will likely open Parliament for urgent business such as the passing of the budget and then prorogue it again. He can repeat the same feat again and again till 2017.
By then, Metsing would have fallen by the wayside.
If not toppled by his party’s hostile faction, the LMPS and DCEO would have been unleashed on him.
His position assumed by Maseribane or one of the LCD rebels.
The question is where will all this leave Lesotho. One answer is that in major, major dire straits.
The donors will stay away, accusing Thabane of having become a later day Bashar Al Assad or Pol Pot.
The investors will also keep away citing risks associated with political uncertainties.
Our ever limping economy will falter much further.
It will become survival of the very fittest.
If you don’t have your own little slew of sheep and goats roaming the mountains, you may end up emulating the God forsaken North Koreans; eating grass to survive.
Another answer is that Thabane might pull through and let Basotho live. Scrutator cannot just see how this will happen in the absence of good foreign direct investment and donor aid, amid the ever dwindling SACU receipts.

The circus around the Kingdom is not confined to the coalition government.
The long running dispute between the Lesotho Mounted Police (LMPS) and the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) took a bizarre twist last week when LDF soldiers guarding State House asked LMPS Commissioner Khothatso Tšooana and his deputy Masupha Masupha to park outside and walk all the distance for a meeting with Thabane.
The incident represented possibly the lowest point in the ongoing feud between commissioner Tšooana and LDF commander Kamoli.
In fact it exemplified just how far Kamoli is prepared to go to humiliate his counterpart.
It is a common secret that there is no love lost between the two after Kamoli foiled attempts by the LMPS to go to the bottom of the bombings at the Commissioner’s premises and that of Thabane’s lover.
Scrutator congratulates Tšooana for refusing to budge and being humiliated in this way.
It is now abundantly clear that Kamoli does not have any regard for his counterpart at the LMPS.
This after he called a press conference at which he berated the commissioner.
Where else in the world my fellow Basotho have you ever seen an army commander publicly berating their counterpart police commissioner.
Where else in the world have you seen an army commander refusing to hand over crime suspects for investigation by the police.
It can only happen in our tiny Kingdom.
I have spoken of the unease in which I find myself in as a result of the Tsooana/Kamoli feud.

What is ever more puzzling for me and completely incomprehensible is why Thabane has allowed this feud to continue unabated.
It surely cannot be in anyone’s interest that the head of army in any country and the head of police are ever at loggerheads.
Thabane must know this.
Him, as wearer of all hats, Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Police, you name it, bears the responsibility to put an end to this madness.
But why is he not acting?
What is he afraid of?
Surely two bulls cannot exist in the same kraal.
In this case, one of these men must be fired.
Or as Scrutator has suggested before, they both have to be deployed on a refresher course to help Nigeria fight Boko Haram.
On their return, they might both be battle hardened and put the security needs of this country first ahead of petty squabbling.
Thabane cannot let this feud fester.
His propensity to act against whomsoever has become his hallmark.
It is what has earned him the highly deserved soubriquet of Cyclone Tom.
Just ask his latest victim Leaba Thetsane.
Unless Thabane acts now and put an end to this impasse, one way or the other, Scrutator sees something very nasty coming.
I thought the circus around the Tom and Jerry coalition was enough.
We don’t need another one, particularly around two main instruments of state security.
The sooner Cyclone Tom sweeps, preferably through the barracks, the better!!!

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