How is the coalition government doing?

How is the coalition government doing?

I can bet my last Loti that you will get as many answers to this question as there are voters in Lesotho.
Some will say the government is doing well and some will argue that the government is not doing well.
This is because the answers given when answering this question are subjective i.e. what individuals perceive from personal experience. There is therefore no wrong answer.

This means that those who say the government is doing well are just as correct as those who say the government is floundering.
It’s a fact that no government ever reaches all the people at the same time. Areas and people are reached in batches. Nor do governments satisfy everyone’s needs completely because societies have a multiplicity of needs.
Good governments recognize this fact. They therefore prioritise the most important and most common needs citizens have. They then immediately get down to work to serve their masters – the people.

Bad governments however, lack such wisdom. They scheme instead, how best to quickly capture the state. The haste is necessitated by the need to loot for themselves and their cronies as much as possible while still in government.
These thoughts went through my mind as I listened in as two friends sat debating the question I have asked at the top. One guy felt the government was doing well and the other strongly disagreed.

Government is doing well guy: – A culture of impunity (sponsored and sanctioned by the government of the day back then) had taken root in Lesotho. Ridding Lesotho of this scourge was therefore the number one priority. Everything else would come after.
As things go now, the rule of law is being re-established. Impunity and state sponsored terror have been rolled back. Basotho no longer live in fear except of course for the criminals who now realise that their time is up.

These efforts have created an environment conducive for foreign direct investment and much needed donor funding. The stage has been set for Lesotho to once again fully benefit from donor funding and including AGOA.Private investors are also now more likely to pump their money into the economy. Pensioners now have a decent monthly pension. They are now better able to meet their basic needs.
Work is progressing well to improve the livelihoods of some of society’s most vulnerable members i.e. orphans. As a result, a better and more caring society is being birthed.

Patients requiring dialysis treatment no longer have to cross the border to go to South Africa. This life saving treatment is now available right here in Lesotho. Lesotho TV is no longer captured. At this point, the guy with the view that government is floundering jumped in.
Government could be doing better guy: – Everything you have said is nothing but hot air. Nothing has changed. Different jockey. Same horse.
Lesotho TV is still captured. It’s the same as it has always been. There is still no balanced coverage of national news and events. If you watch LTV, you would think Lesotho has no opposition parties. It’s now captured by the 4×4 coalition government and not by Liphiri as before.

There is still political instability. Where is Metsing and his buddies? Where is that journalist woman? Didn’t they say they fled fearing for their lives? Whether true or not is beside the point. Their fleeing has created the perception of instability. This instability is likely to extend to parliament. Consider for example the clowns disguised as MPs who want to pass another motion of a vote of no confidence.

These people have no regard for the ramifications and negative impact this could cause this country. Only clowns would broach such a thing at this juncture. If SADC fails to honour its commitment to send the promised troops to Lesotho, wait and see what becomes of the 4×4 coalition’s efforts to bring criminals to justice. The stability you speak of will be more fragile than it already is. Those who fear taking accountability for their criminal actions, will resist strongly and cause us more problems.

The public service is still being politicised. None of us except perhaps the powers that be have any clue the criteria used when making important appointments in government. Are you aware of any new Bills submitted to Parliament to signal changes in government direction, policies or programmes or anything of the sort? No, you are not. That’s because there aren’t any. This government is just carrying on where the useless Liphiri left off. They are just as pathetic.

How many new job opportunities have been created in the economy since this government took over? How many are likely to be created in future due to new policies we did not have before? My sister, who graduated from Roma a few weeks ago, is now sitting at home. And there, she is not alone. She joins lots of other despondent graduates in the village. There are slim prospects for future employment for any of them given how things stand now.
As a small business owner, I still struggle to get paid for services I have rendered government. All that fanfare announcement to surcharge PS’s for late payments was just hot air.

The hassle I now go through each time I cross the border between Lesotho and South Africa is the worst I have ever experienced. These delays have a massive cost impact on my business. I don’t see tangible evidence that government is concerned by this.
People go to hospitals in this country out of desperation and not the belief that they will be cured. Those who want to be cured and can afford it, cross the border to seek medical care in South Africa. Just look at the mess at Tšepong.

What has the new government done to improve access to good health services? What? One dialysis machine?
How many of our current Ministers do you think visit our own hospitals and clinics when they take ill? I think none.
Access to running water for many households in Lesotho continues to be a challenge and there are no signs that things will improve going forward. By the way, why is it that we sell our water to foreign peoples before first making sure that our own domestic requirements are satisfied? How smart is that?
Subsidies for agricultural inputs and mechanical operations? When do we receive these? The planting season has long started and we are still waiting.
Look around, most roads are still as crap as they have always been. I wonder how many new roads have been rehabilitated or tarred these last few months. Fokol has changed maan!

Every day you hear stories of children and grandmothers being killed and raped. What rule of law are you talking about when corruption remains rampant but arrests and convictions “dololo”. Where are the plans and strategies by government to deal with the backlog of cases in our court system? Where are these plans? All we see are Ministers crisscrossing the country at our expense to meet officials and to familiarise themselves with their portfolios.

Nonsense. That’s what you should have done when in opposition. As government, you hit the ground running by implementing your policies.
This government like its predecessor, has no clear policies.

Basotho urgently require jobs, decent treatment when they require medical care, they want water and good roads, they want to plough their fields so that they have food for themselves and their families.  They want good quality education for their children. They want all criminals behind bars and nowhere else. These things they want today not tomorrow.

I am not seeing signs that these things are arriving or will be arriving quickly enough. That’s them –i.e. the two friends discussing the question “How is the 4×4 coalition government doing so far? The point of all this is not to show who the better debater is. Because that’s a pointless exercise. The point here is that it’s not what government or opposition leaders tell you about government successes or lack thereof.
What is your personal reality as you get on with the business of your life every day? Are you feeling and experiencing “change’? That’s the point. That’s what I want you to think about.

Previous When love is blind
Next Embrace reconciliation

About author

You might also like

Insight

Own up to your past

Out across the street from the guest house where I have been this past week, a funny scene is unfolding, two male dogs are trying to mount each other in

Insight

Lessons from the Xie Yan case

The announcement that the Prime Minister had appointed Yan Xie a Lesotho citizen of Chinese origin as the“Head of Special Projects and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy and Trade Advisor on

Insight

The end of Ali Abdullah Saleh

Ali Abdullah Saleh seized power in Yemen in 1978, when he was only 36 years old. He lost it in 2012, when the ‘Arab spring’ was in full spate, and