Nothing treasonous about ABC, DC deal

Nothing treasonous about ABC, DC deal

THE Covid-19 pandemic that burst onto the world scene in late December has been described as one of the biggest challenges facing the world since the end of World War II.
That is no small claim.

Each day we are watching in horror as the disease continues to ruthlessly mow down thousands of people with some ghastly estimates claiming as much as 200 000 could die in the United States alone.
That is a frightening prospect.

There are fears that the Covid-19 pandemic could inflict massive damage in poorer communities.
For us here in Lesotho, we are grateful that we still have not recorded a single case of Covid-19 despite the disease hovering menacingly across our porous borders.

Sadly, faced with what appears to be mankind’s greatest challenge our national leadership seems fixated on the politics of survival. We have a political class that seem determined to scheme how they could seize political power.

We write at a time when a faction of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) that is viscerally opposed to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane says it had sealed a deal to form the next government with the main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) party.

Of course political parties have a right to scheme how to legally and constitutionally seize power. That is their business.
Our only problem with the whole thing is the timing.

We know that given the massive challenges facing the people of Lesotho, politics is the least of their worries. People are basically concerned with survival and how they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe from the virus.

The deal that the two sides signed sent Prime Minister Thomas Thabane into palpitations with anger. For Thabane, the deal smacks of treason.
He has threatened to mobilise Lesotho’s security agencies within the police and the military to stamp out what he says is an attempted coup de’tat against his government.

We find that assessment breathtaking.
Political parties have a right to push political agendas and there is nothing in the deal that would seem to suggest it is a threat against Lesotho’s national interests.

In short, there is nothing treasonous about that deal, unless there is something that we are not privy to.
It would be sad were Thabane to mobilise national security agencies to fight what is clearly a partisan battle in order to retain power.

Thabane’s response to the deal has been nothing but a reflex response for self-preservation. He knows that after the two sides signed a deal of that magnitude, he is now yesterday’s man.
In our opinion, Thabane would be wrong to try and use the security agencies to meddle in what is essentially a political dispute that will require a political solution.

Having been a victim of the army’s excesses in the past, Thabane should know better.

Lesotho’s security agencies have a very sad, well documented and yet nasty history of meddling in politics. He has been a victim of such meddling in the past.

That is why we think it is wrong for him to want to drag the security agencies in a dispute they should stay away from.
Thabane has already promised to step down by the end of July. But his actions on the ground do not seem to suggest so.

The wily old fox of Lesotho politics seems to be indicating left while turning right. He must not be allowed to use the ‘Covid-19 excuse’ to hang on to power.

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