Stop intimidating civil servants

Stop intimidating civil servants

WE note with grave concern the threats by opposition parties to punish any civil servant who will sign off a procurement of services and goods for the government.
The opposition says if it wins the election it will prosecute any government employee who would have approved government payments without a budget.

The supposition here is that such coercion will stop the public servants from spending without a budget. We hope they are bluffing but if they are dead serious then they are going down a wrong and treacherous road.

Such tactics smack of desperation.
Having failed to block the elections the opposition has now turned its attention to throwing spanners in the works. If the idea is to put pressure on Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s government then they are using the wrong method.

Their fight should be with the government and not the civil servants whose role is to take instructions from the top. Such a threat is as unprecedented as it is unwarranted.
Never in the tumultuous history of this country has an opposition resorted such a strong-arm tactics. We shudder at the thought process that came up with such a position.
Yet we are not surprised.

Clearly some opposition parties are yet to come to terms with the disappointment of failing to replace the government through parliament.
Given the controversy surrounding the decision to dissolve parliament and hold elections we empathise with them. Yet we believe they are fighting an entirely wrong war.
Theirs is a political game from which they will earn little political capital.

Sabotaging a government which they say is already on its way out will certainly not stop the elections. Nor will it put then in good standing at the ballot.
If anything, such a move might backfire on the opposition if the government gives it a propaganda spin that puts the blame squarely on them.

Imagine how it would look if the pensioners who rely on the small government grant are not paid. How will the opposition explain blocking pay-outs to the 100 000 orphans living off government hand outs?

We wonder how it will justify blocking the purchase of crucial medicines, the payment of government employees and the procurement of essential services.
Our opinion is that having pushed the government out and given themselves a fair chance of returning to power they must focus on a much bigger battle.
Instead of intimidating civil servants the opposition should hit the ground running on the campaign trail. In fact, they should be out in the villages canvassing because that is the only way to get into the next government.

The focus should be on fundamental issues that solve Lesotho’s political problems. We want to know how they will deal with the political crisis, security instability, the poverty and unemployment.
We fervently await their proposals on how to pull the economy out of the mud, shake up our education sector and revive our health sector.
How about some suggestions on how they will bring investors to Lesotho and how they will help the few companies already in the country remain viable?
Let’s hear how they will fight the rampant corruption in this country.

All these issues are dear to Basotho and should therefore form the crux of every political party’s campaign message.
We are certain they have no appetite for cheap politicking ploys like intimidating civil servants.

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