Instability will hurt Lesotho

Instability will hurt Lesotho

THE events of the last week have proved beyond any shadow of doubt that the current coalition government led by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili is facing a mammoth fight for survival.

The gloves are literally off in Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC) party.

This was particularly so after Mosisili’s deputy Monyane Moleleki admitted last Friday that he was in talks with former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to cobble a new coalition government.

That ‘confession’ literally set the cat among the pigeons.

Moleleki’s detractors within the party have labelled his announcement “treasonous” with the DC deputy leader arguing he only seeks to unite Basotho.

The factional fights which had for months simmered in the background have now burst into the open with devastating consequences for the unity and stability of the party.

The DC is now literally at war with itself.

Hardly a day passes without senior party leaders exchanging unkind barbs at each other.

While the opposition might gloat over prospects of having a second bite of the cherry by getting back into government, we as thepost want to put it on record that this instability will hurt Lesotho in the long-run.

In fact, since the events of August 30, 2014 Lesotho has battled crisis after crisis. The crisis needed SADC intervention and culminated in the February 2015 general election.

Under normal circumstances, that election should have settled the issue at stake yet it only spawned further unresolved issues that led to the unfortunate killing of former Lesotho army commander Maaparankoe Mahao and the fleeing of opposition leaders into exile in South Africa.

What it means is that Lesotho has not had a moment’s rest over the past two years. The government has not had time to fully implement its developmental agenda.

For us, that is tragic.

A visit to the rural districts paints a vivid yet shocking picture of a country with immense social problems. Poverty and hunger are constant partners for our rural folk.

Yet instead of tackling such issues, we seem to be fixated with politics at the expense of everything else.

Secondly, our fixation with party politics has meant that the all-important reform agenda is now on the back-burner. Under the auspices of SADC Lesotho is supposed to undertake key reforms in the security and legislative sectors.

We are not too sure if we are going to have movement on that issue now that everyone is positioning themselves for a strike at the country’s Number One job.

As we have argued in our previous editorials, the political problems of Lesotho emanate from structural flaws with the political system. We need to build new institutions that will preserve our democracy.

Without such institutions we are bound to repeat the same mistakes we have committed over the past 50 years.

Having hobbled from crisis to crisis since August 30, 2014 the question that we must ask is: When will this stop?

We are sure that the majority of Basotho yearn for peace and stability so that they can get on with their lives.

Investors are also crying out for stability. They want political stability.

We cannot continue to be in election mode every two years.

We urge our political leaders to put their house in order and get on with the business of governing.

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