A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

There is an old adage that says “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” What this proverb simply means is that it is better to have the certainty of a small thing than the probability of something greater that may not be realised.

An internet search on the origin of this proverb indicates that the origin is unknown. However, writings from as far back as the 16th century had used this saying. An example of a writing by Hugh Rhodes, believed to have been written in 1530, reads, “Better one byrde in hande than ten in the wood.”
It is therefore evident that this proverb has been around for quite some time. However, it seems many people, especially our politicians do not know about it. Even those who know or have heard of it did not care enough to get what it really means.

The Lesotho government has faced turbulent times since the dawn of coalition governments. Although I blame the coalition governments, the previously ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy also did not experience any internal stability since its formation in 1997.
The party was also rocked by splits. The result of those splits brought about coalition governments in Lesotho as no party was able to get majority seats to rule on its own. As I have mentioned the emergence of coalition governments, mainly because their administration has not been clearly legislated, have brought so much instability and poverty in Lesotho.
Unfortunately, the poverty, joblessness and hunger is not only affecting the voting masses. It is also affecting the politicians that do not think ahead. When Lehlohonolo Tšehlana left the LCD for the All Basotho Convention in 2007, his thinking was that he would have a better position in the new party.
That line of thinking never took him far as his stint in the ABC never lasted long. He has since found a passion in the priesthood and as a ‘political analyst’. This is a typical example of not understanding this proverb and what it actually means in the true sense.

It is not only Tšehlana who misdirected himself by not seeing the value of the bird in hand. There was also the era of Mothetjoa Metsing and his cohorts who thought that by pushing LCD party leader Pakalitha Mosisili and his associates out, meant he would be the next Prime Minister.
Unfortunately for him he landed in a coalition government in which he never knew peace as he was chased day and night by his partners. Had he valued the leadership of Mosisili his name would not have been synonymous with corruption and as a trouble maker that ruined the smooth operations of the security sector in Lesotho.
These examples are not the only cases of people who lacked the vision to see that what they already have is far better than what they were fighting to have. We currently have Prime Minister Tom Thabane who by not resolving the impasse in his party is steadfastly leading to its demise.
He might boast and brag that he has already secured himself a pension and will not lack anything should he not come back as a Prime Minister. However, that line of thinking is short-sighted as he is only looking out for himself and does not think about his lieutenants.

He may argue that he will make sure they stand for elections in their respective constituencies. However he should learn a thing or two from a song by Makhube which says “likhetho ha lina lefa” (loosely translated elections have no heir, which means there is no guarantee that a person will always win in elections).
Even in the case of those MPs aligned to Thabane’s faction there is no guarantee that when he calls for elections they will come back in the next Parliament. There is also no surety that if regime change happens, as it is likely to occur he will not take off into exile again.
It is very important that our political leaders should look yonder and above their egos. They should deeply think about the consequences that are likely to prevail should they continue letting their personalities rule them.

The situation in the ABC is at a point of no return. The events that took place in parliament last week when some ABC MPs voted with the opposition is a clear indication that the road ahead is shortening. The ABC constituencies writing letters to the national committee is another indication that there is no going back. Indeed elections are looming in Lesotho. The signs are all there.
It is very sad that we are likely to go for National Assembly elections before any progress has been made on the reforms. This means come next government we will still be faced with the same old challenges that have hindered our economic growth. The challenges that have hampered the school feeding programme thus negatively affecting the well-being of our future leaders.
I am appealing to all MPs, to each introspect deeply with regard to the situation prevailing in the country. Before they go for a vote-of-no-confidence, they should think about some of the elderly that are not getting their pension money and the primary school kids that are not being fed.

They should also think about the thousands of Basotho youths that are unemployed due to lack of government capacity to absorb them. As they think of that, they should remember that should parliament be dissolved some of them will not make it back to the august House.
Our MPs should know that going for national elections is not to the benefit of this country but for the advantage of a few individuals and their friends and families.

Kelello Rakolobe

Previous Elections are inevitable!
Next Kicking the can down the road

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