Old guard must make way for new ideas

Old guard must make way for new ideas

Our nation is embarking on national reforms to address several challenges we have been facing since independence such as weak state institutions, lack of stability in the security sector, poor administration of justice, a weak economy, aid dependency syndrome, constitutional deficiencies and declining service delivery.
Last weekend I spoke on Tšenolo FM radio station about the need for our minds as Basotho to be transformed. I will now share snippets from that discussion.
Albert Einstein argued that it is impossible to “solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” But here we are as Basotho, approaching national reforms with the same old way of thinking.

Indeed, our country cannot evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation. Look at our current crop of leadership, these are the same people who have been in government since 1993.
The Bible says at Romans 12:2 that the only way to be “transformed, is by the renewing of our minds” – putting off our negative and corrupt thinking and putting on good thoughts.
The old way of thinking has not gone away. I have observed Lesotho politics and her leadership for some time now, I am convinced we can have the best laws, regulations and constitution but if our minds do not get reformed it will be a waste of our time and resources. We desperately need to transform the minds of Basotho. We need a new way of thinking.
Our political system is fully controlled by the governing elite. Unfortunately the ruling elite have gods, they control state institutions so everyone wants to receive patronage from them. Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli relied on the ruling elite to reappoint him to the commander’s seat.

Lieutenant General Letsoela, Major General Matobakele and all the soldiers who had deserted, were rescued by the governing elite. This has to change but the ruling elite still want to enjoy such privileges.
On the eve of reforms process, Dr Kananelo Mosito relied on the ruling elite to appoint judges that would rule in his favour on the Appeal Court bench.
The governing elite made sure that the appeal court session sits to decide on Dr Mosito’s case only. A very costly exercise indeed but our leadership does not care.
The Court of Appeal bench on Dr. Mosito’s appeal case made a strange ruling that was never part of the prayers that “the Acting Chief Justice is ordered to swear Dr Kananelo Everitt Mosito as President of the Court of Appeal as soon as is practicable”.

Three weeks ago both the government and opposition signed the SADC Memorandum of Understanding to enable reforms process to run smoothly. However, we have an Attorney General who was quoted in newspapers saying the agreement is illegal. Could this be the case whereby the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing?
Does this prove my point that our problems are not in our laws, regulations and constitution but the fundamental problem is in our minds, that we have a messed up mind-set as a people?
We have a situation where people go into politics for economic gains, instead of serving you and I; the fact that they spend so much money to get that political office and they come during election time to distribute food parcels, heaters, T-shirts and money for people to vote for them, this tells you they don’t want to be held accountable because they can easily tell us that they have paid us. You can see from whatever they are doing.

We must acknowledge that our government institutions are made up of people. If we want government (executive), security forces, judiciary, media, public services, parliament and academia to change, we must start by changing the people in these institutions.

However I am afraid some people are too old to change their thinking patterns. We have to get rid of them and build these institutions using the people who are able to be transformed.
In order for us to solve our problems we must approach our problems from a different angle. By doing so, we break down some of the assumptions that we may have made initially.
We must be reformed by the renewal of our minds. We are in the process of reforming our security sector, parliament, judiciary, media, public service and constitution but I am afraid our fundamental problem is in the minds of Basotho.

We need to be reformed by the renewal of our minds. Our approach, strategies and plan will be completely different towards the reform process. We are going into the reforms with the old way of thinking.

And we are now at a point of choice. The greatest obstacle to our reform process is the prevailing mind-set. Mind-set shift and self-awareness is key. We cannot manage those things that we are unaware of, especially ourselves.

We need to be aware as Basotho that the thinking and behaviour that got us here is not going to get us to where we need to go. Our priority must become self-mastery – intimately understanding our conscious/unconscious beliefs, bias, fears, and motivations as a nation.

In conclusion we need to challenge ourselves to fully understand our problems, what is causing them, and what we hope the final outcome will be once we find a resolution.
This is extremely important because discovering the root of our problems and stating it honestly and clearly may prevent this nation from pursuing misguided solutions that will not result in the outcome we really want.

There are no shortcuts. There is no magical formula for reforming our country and renewing our minds. We must fill our minds with noble ideas that will move this country out of this mess.
Renewing our minds is a process, not a one time achievement and it’s not simply “changing” our thoughts, but actually putting off the old, negative thoughts as well as putting on the noble and innovative thoughts.

Basotho need a lot of re-orientation and that is because of this continuous hatred, bitterness, greed, resentment, discrimination, envy and continuous mental abuse that we have been used to by our leaders that just make us to do things in a messy manner.
As we put a lot of effort as a nation into the reform process and changing all these laws, regulations and constitution, I am convinced it has to start with changing the current crop of leaders that we have.

I have come to the conclusion that our current crop of leaders do not care about us, all that they care about is themselves, and their selfish interests because if they care about us, some of these things that we have that are causing problems would not have arisen in the first place.

By: Ramahooana matlosa

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