Majoro’s grand vision

Majoro’s grand vision

Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro on Monday delivered a SMART plan for his administration. The plan is smart because it is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Majoro’s administration has limited its targets, considering the time left before the next election in 2022. This plan has clear timelines and outputs. Above all, he gave us the hope we desperately need as a nation. I wish to give a brief analysis of Majoro’s vision for the next two years.

This plan is specific because it sets very specific targets. This is not the time for generic goals meant to make politicians look good because it will not work in these two remaining years. 
Is this plan measurable? Can it be quantifiable? Yes it is measurable. By setting measurable goals Dr Majoro has allowed the ordinary citizens to know when that particular target has been reached. It appears that this administration desires results.

Can it be achieved? The point of a target will challenge and motivate Majoro’s administration to complete a piece of work. Dr Majoro avoided promising a lot and setting the target too high and that is commendable. Otherwise, he would have caused unnecessary stress for his government and decreasing the chance of his administration targets actually being within reach.

At the same time, he has not set for his government very easy targets which can inhibit his administration from pushing and doing more. These appear to be very reasonable targets.
Is the plan realistic? We are used to politicians promising heaven on earth. Dr Majoro decided to start off with activities that are more realistic. Successful administrators did not just become successful overnight.

Is it time bound? We are a nation of procrastinators, so Dr Majoro avoided a plan with no deadlines. This is something his administration desperately needs. For too long our public servants have sat at their desks knowing very well they have work to do, yet they easily get lost in the world of the internet looking at cute animal photos, pornographic videos or social media.

But if deadlines are set and they are given timelines for completion of the job then Dr Majoro has just motivated Ministers, Principal Secretaries, heads of departments and ordinary civil servants to complete the job by the allotted time.

Majoro touched on the economic growth through mining and agriculture, prioritising Basotho entrepreneurs and a need to pay the Basotho entrepreneurs faster and first. I understand he did not have a lot of time to give us more details on how his government is going to stimulate growth.
On agriculture, he stressed the commercialisation of agriculture through building of greenhouses and silos. He talked of establishing market centres where Basotho’s fresh produce will be sold.

I hope the Minister of Finance will be able to give more details on how their new approach will stimulate the economy and what that approach will be. Will the government pump money into the private sector through procurement of goods and services or will government use social grants and subsidies to stimulate economic growth during this period?
I cannot wait to hear the Minister of Finance giving us the breakdown of how they are going to stimulate our economy.

The setting up of a delivery unit in the Prime Minister’s office is very important. I saw this during the Mosisili era. Delivery in government is often hampered by structural barriers. Many outcomes require several agencies to work together, which is notoriously difficult to pull off in a world of silos, disparate agendas, and competition for funding.

Governments typically respond by setting up committees or task forces. Allow me to cite the case of the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC). It is made up of different ministries and governmental departments. It has achieved very little because the people on this committee tend to represent their ministries’ view of why change is difficult, they do not generally have a sense of ownership of the project, and thus feel little pressure to deliver.

One approach that has yielded remarkable results in a variety of contexts is the establishment of the delivery unit within the Prime Minister’s office. The Delivery Unit can help us if it is staffed with professionals who can deliver. This Unit needs to work closely with the Ministry of Development Planning, as the ministry responsible for development of plans in government and monitoring of the delivery.

They need to start by bringing together officials from all ministries to develop implementable solutions through a full-time, two- to four-week process that will also do thorough consultations with stakeholders.
This process must give us deliverables such as clear targets, a prioritised set of initiatives, a delivery plan at an actionable level of detail, estimated funding requirements, and full stakeholder sign-off.

The Auditor General should be given this plan and be tasked with auditing the performances of all ministries including the performance of the Delivery Unit on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
The previous government had established a structure called the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC) in response to Covid-19 outside the boundaries of the law which renders the whole structure invalid and unlawful. The Majoro administration plans to implement a new approach to Covid-19 that will be under the Disaster Management Authority Act.

The Prime Minister will chair this new Covid-19 NECC. There will be advisory committees of experts that will give direction to the NECC. I am very happy that the government has recruited Thabo Khasipe to become the CEO of the Command Centre. He is a brilliant candidate to drive the national Covid-19 agency. We desperately needed a manager who understands the constraints of project management (cost, time and scope).
Food security has been neglected for some time and the Covid-19 and lockdown has taught us that we desperately need to be food secure. I am glad the Majoro administration has prioritised food production to make us food secure.

Majoro’s administration also committed to stop the rampant crimes and killings in our communities. If this administration is to be taken seriously it must address the issue of police brutality. Over 60 lives have been lost in the hands of the police.

The battle to reduce police violence in Lesotho is a complicated one. But at the end of the day, there were more people who were killed by the police in these past three years than any other time and the most rotten apples among the police are not being held accountable.
Majoro must make sure the Commissioner of Police is held accountable for these lost lives.

I am glad that Majoro wants to address the issue of corruption seriously. This administration plans to review the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act of 1999 to give the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) more autonomy.

Public officials need to be morally consistent within their professional duties, as much as possible. They must be able to do their job, within the law, without corruption (taking bribes, misappropriation, favouritism, etc.)
Majoro’s administration has committed to ensure that before we go for elections in 2022, the nation would have completed the process of reforming our security, public service, economy, parliament, media, constitution, and judiciary. We urgently need these reforms.

We need a declaration of assets or wealth for Ministers, MPs, judges and senior government officials within 14 days of taking office. We need to know government officials’s assets and the businesses they own.
The Prime Minister also appealed for the protection of the environment and an improvement in the standards of cleanliness. Majoro, however, must set an example just like his counterpart, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who goes out once a week to a cleaning campaign. Secondly he needs to introduce anti-littering laws and enforce them. 

It is important for Majoro’s administration to execute these targets. Luke 16:10 says “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much”.
I was speaking to a local businessman and friend of mine, (name withheld for fear of victimisation), immediately after the speech and he was very confident about the future. He said if Majoro implements 50 percent of what he promised, Lesotho would quickly catch up with Swaziland within five years and be on the path to overtake Botswana.

We now await the ministers to provide the detailed and specific plans to achieve this grand vision.

Ramahooana Matlosa

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