Blame game will not work

Blame game will not work

The current coalition government partners got into power through blaming the then Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and his administration for failing to deliver better services to Basotho.
Yet government failures have increased dramatically lately. Unfortunately, given the underlying problems contributing to such failures, more are likely coming in the future.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is struggling to turn around the moribund economy and confront multiple complex problems facing Basotho such as poverty, poor infrastructure, food security, unemployment and others.

In the first year of this government they took every opportunity to remind Basotho that their problems are not of their making. “We inherited a financial crisis,” said Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro. They blamed the predecessors for the challenges that they were confronted with.
My understanding is that a new government comes in with new policies, new strategies, and new programmes to deal with old problems. If these new policies and programmes fail then the government should take ownership of their failure and stop shifting the blame.

Perhaps, it is not new. The All Basotho Convention (ABC) leadership has always tended to dodge responsibility and blame others for their failure. When something goes wrong in ABC, the first question that is often posed is, “Whose fault is it?”
In 2012 when we first had a taste of a coalition government, Basotho had hope of renewal, Mosisili was gone! What could go wrong? Hardly two years into government the honeymoon phase came and was gone too fast.

Immediately the ABC engaged its propaganda machinery to brand the then Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing as the reason why they could not deliver. So when the first coalition failed, it was Metsing’s fault. When errors such as these surface, blaming seems to be a natural reflex action in the ABC.
Fast forward to 2017, the masses once again afforded the ABC a chance to govern. After at least a year in power, the electorate is starting to request the coalition government to deliver on the promises they made and as per ABC’s standard operating procedure they looked for a face…it was challenging because Metsing has since skipped the country so he is out of the picture.

Kamoli maybe? No he is detained without trial! There is always an instant search for scapegoats in their poor delivery!
Then the ABC decided to sacrifice the First Lady. The masses will believe that the ABC could still change this country if the First Lady could be branded as corrupt, insensitive and interfering in government business.

That is not true. She is too small in the grand scheme of things. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!
ABC members are slinging mud at each other today! Instead of digging deeper to find out what causes lack of service delivery, corruption, fraud, deception, a depressed economy, hunger, unemployment, healthcare access, dirty drinking water, and terrible roads, corruption, nepotism, weak institutions, inefficient and ineffective public service, politics of self-interest and extreme poverty we see today, they find it very easy to blame their misfortunes and problems on the Honourable First Lady.

It’s a misdiagnosis of governance problems, my fellow countrymen! Surely I don’t like her style of doing things but I can’t blame her for the ineptitude and incompetence of Ministers and Principal Secretaries.  Blaming is more than just a process of allocating fault. It is often a process of shaming others and searching for something wrong with them.
Blaming provides an early and artificial solution to a complex problem.

It provides a simplistic view of a complex reality: I know what the problem is, and the First Lady is the problem. Blame reduces the chances of getting to the real root of a problem.
The leadership example that the coalition government has set is one of bullying, threats, mendacity, political cowardice and constant blame-shifting. Its effect is corrosive to our young democracy.
Like most Basotho, especially the 230 000 who voted for the ABC, I had hoped that when Ntate Thabane became Prime Minister, he would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs. A good leader sets an example for others to follow.

Where there is blame, there is no learning. Where there is blame, open minds close, inquiry tends to cease, and the desire to understand the whole system diminishes. When people work in an atmosphere of blame, they naturally cover up their errors and hide their real concerns.
And when energy goes into finger-pointing, scapegoating, and denying responsibility, productivity suffers because the governing parties lack information about the real state of affairs. It’s impossible to make good decisions with poor information.

Scapegoating cannot compensate or make up for the lack of actionable service delivery by the coalition administration.
The Prime Minister must put an action plan in motion or face the wrath of the people, loss of party support and confidence in his leadership . . . basically the Prime Minister’s fuel tank is running on reserve in the middle of nowhere and he is in danger of losing passengers!

BY: Ramahooana matlosa

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