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The owl does not have horns

by Lesotho Times

CRUTATOR is yet to understand how the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) founders decided that their party’s symbol should be an eagle.

She however understands the ambition and motive behind that choice.

The eagle certainly has attributes that the LCD greatly admires and would want to emulate as a political party.

You see, the eagle is renowned for its farsightedness: it can spot a prey from as far as five kilometres.

That it rarely misses when it swoops on a prey is an indication of its ability to meticulously plan an attack.

It is neither a random nor a hasty hunter.

That it can sit on a perch for hours waiting for the right moment to attack is a sign of its patience and ability to think through a strategy before implementation.

The eagle is also very strong.

Given these attributes it is therefore not surprising that successful countries like Germany, the United States, Poland and Russia use the eagle as a national symbol.

But Scrutator does not understand why the LCD persists to use such a powerful symbol especially at a time when it has shown that it’s neither as farsighted nor as decisive as an eagle.

There is no doubt that to the LCD the symbol of an eagle is now a misnomer.

It is an injustice and a misrepresentation to compare an eagle to the LCD as it currently exists.

The LCD of today is disorganised, shortsighted and highly strung.

Unlike an eagle, the LCD is hopelessly incapable of seeing prey or danger from a distance.

It cannot even see a train until it is under it.

Look how it has floundered and blindly limped from one crisis to another over past five years.



crutator reckons a more apt symbol for the LCD would be an owl.

An owl, by the way, is a bird known for its preference to sleep during the day and hunt at night.

There is nothing unique about that behaviour but it is precisely where the similarities between the owl and the LCD begin.

The comparison doesn’t end there though.

Let’s start with the owl’s behaviour to sleep during the day.

You see, the LCD has been almost entirely aloof to the internal power struggles and factionalism that have been gnawing it from within.

Like an owl the leadership has been too busy snoring during the day to save the party from an imminent implosion.

The recent decision to fire ministers, the endless court battles and the failure to organise a simple conference is a direct result of a leadership that has been sleeping during the day when it should be guiding the party out of the storm.



here is a strong similarity between the owl’s habit of hunting at night and the LCD’s modus operandi at the moment.

When the party members are sleeping the LCD leadership jolts into action to play destructive political games.

No one in the LCD leadership can possibly deny that when night comes they start having secret meetings in dingy places in the villages.

No one can deny that they are hunting at night.

Nefarious schemes are hatched and the downfalls of perceived enemies are scrupulously planned.

The drama we are witnessing in the LCD now was scripted at candlelit nocturnal meetings.

The LCD leadership has behaved in the same way when it comes to running government operations.

In those night meetings lucrative tenders, jobs and favours have been parcelled out to connected people in elaborate schemes that are highly questionable.

The consequence is a government that has become synonymous with questionable conduct.

Those night meetings are the reason the LCD can’t run itself or the government properly.



he owl has another characteristic unique to itself.

It is a bird feared by many Basotho who superstitiously believe it is associated with some evil spirits or witches.

So strong is this belief that when some people in the villages hear an owl hoot near their home at night they will consult a ngaka first thing in the morning.

This fear is based on the owl’s perceived association with evil forces.

But this is just a belief that is neither real nor proven.

The LCD thrives on such a perceived fearsomeness when it deals with gullible villagers.

There are people in the villages who believe, genuinely but mistakenly so, that if the LCD goes out of power they will lose old-age pensions and other state handouts.

The LCD has milked this unfounded fear for political gain in the past 10 years.

It is the same perceived fearsomeness that has made villagers avoid killing owls like they do with other birds.

So while other animals are hunted down owls are left unmolested.

If the people knew that the LCD is nothing but an overrated political entity and that any other party can give them better social programmes they would vote it out of power pronto.

They would boot it out of the corridors of power sooner than it can say “Truth, Justice and Peace” (Isn’t it ironic that there is nothing really truthful, just and peaceful about the LCD now).


ike the owl, its true symbol, the LCD pretends to be strong when it is actually very fragile.

The owl can comfortably sleep during the day without the slightest fear of being attacked by other predators because it looks intimidating.

Its ears look like dangerous horns and no predator will dare come closer.

The LCD behaves in much the same way.

It gives this aura of a formidable political force that is indispensable.

The ears which look like horns are the legacy bestowed upon it by the founder Ntsu Mokhehle.

There are villagers who fear, naively so, that if they give the LCD the boot they would have disappointed Mokhehle or desecrated his legacy.

Never mind that some of his ideas were frivolous, shallow and even dangerous, they have still elevated him to a deity of sorts.

Lesotho’s opposition parties also seem afraid of the LCD because they believe they are not strong enough to defeat it.

Our opposition parties are as meek as Mothetjoa Metsing and lack the shrewdness of Monyane Moleleki.



ut the truth is that the LCD’s power is perceived and not real.

Behind this façade of strength is a party torn apart by internal power struggles.

Beneath the veneer of a potent political force is a party that really has no strategy to win the next election.

The LCD is so troubled that it could not even hold a simple special conference over the weekend.

The opposition must ask how a party that can’t organise itself can claim that it can run a government.

It will not be hard to beat the LCD in the next election because it has made so many blunders and squandered the little goodwill it had.

The LCD is at its weakest at the moment since it was hurriedly cobbled up 15 years ago.

If only our inane opposition leaders could realise that the LCD is on a greasy slope to implosion they would get their act together and win the next election.

The LCD has been exposed.

The owl does not have horns after all.



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