‘Solve Basotho’s problems’

‘Solve Basotho’s problems’

WHEN former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane resigned on May 18, 2020, the world was embroiled in a devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
Suddenly, the fate of the Basotho fell into the hands of an MP from Ha-

Thetsane who suddenly appeared unprepared for the job.
I once watched a movie when a plane was about to go down, the pilot and co-pilot have been immobilised, and suddenly some poor benighted gentleman, suddenly finds himself in the pilot’s chair, trying to land a Boeing 747 on a stormy night on a landing strip.
Majoro is in similar circumstances.

The question is will Majoro land this plane safely in 2022? What will he do now that he is suddenly in charge?
Basotho now look at Majoro in a different way. His friends no longer completely trust him, his enemies are working actively to undercut him. His ability to come to terms with an accidental premiership will make or break his political career.

The All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had insisted on appointing Prime Minister Thabane’s successor in government from the NEC but some members of the National Assembly including Minister Tefo Mapesela refused to be limited to the NEC.
The NEC conceded and allowed the process to be inclusive of all ABC legislators. That became Dr Majoro’s breakthrough and on March 29, 2020, members of the ABC caucus elected a person who was to succeed Thabane as prime minister of Lesotho.

Dr Majoro had 26 votes, beating ABC chairperson Samuel Rapapa who got 18. Ministers Prince Maliehe (Transport) and Samonyane Ntsekele (Water) received one vote each. So it is very clear that Majoro was neither the voters’ nor the ABC NEC’s choice.

It was during the special meeting of the State Council on Monday 18 May 2020, where His Majesty King Letsie III was advised to appoint Majoro as Prime Minister designate. He was later sworn in at the Royal Palace in Maseru on May 20, 2022.

I never thought he could be the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Not everyone is impressed by Dr. Majoro’s political trajectory. He became a member of the Senate in 2012 during the first coalition government led by Thabane.

In 2017 he stood for the first time as an All Basotho Convention (ABC) candidate for Ha Thetsane in the snap elections. He won and became a member of the National Assembly representing the people of Thetsane. He was then appointed Finance Minister.

We remember him as the Finance Minister who was unable to achieve austerity measures. No one ever thought he could be a Prime Minister. To me Majoro is an accidental Prime Minister.
Dr Majoro is the first beneficiary of the ninth Amendment to the constitution of the Kingdom of Lesotho. I am convinced those who proposed the ninth amendment had never been able to anticipate the preparations necessary for a man to become Prime Minister so suddenly.

Dr. Majoro stumbled into leadership. I am saying he stumbled into leadership because he was pushed by ABC legislators. Dr. Majoro never set out to lead, but he was focusing on his functional specialty and was having a difficult time handling our economy.

Yet the ABC MPs promoted him and gave more responsibility and he is now a Prime Minister who is expected to lead.
To me, Majoro is an accidental leader. He has been given the responsibility to govern but not to lead his political party the ABC. He has been given the title of a Prime Minister and not to lead the ABC.

Once upon a time Dr. Majoro used to be really good at his functional expertise, when he was the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance but now he is going to grapple with the demands of leadership.
Dr. Majoro should know that a failure in leadership has consequences and the tragedy for him is that he did not balance the budget, failed to improve our reserves, and was not able to attract investment.

He also could not improve government accountability and failed to implement austerity measures.
All these, in my opinion, overshadows his other achievements, most notably he downgraded the model of vehicles the ministers used. He introduced Prado as opposed to the Cruiser. He saved some funds for the government.
Dr. Majoro had been an ordinary politician from Ha Thetsane whom everybody underrated, including within his own party. But what will make Dr. Majoro successful is that he must be remarkably decisive, both about his policies and his choice of advisers.

He should have the ability to make monumental decisions during his first year in office. Dr. Majoro is coming into office during very difficult economic times. COVID-19 has changed everything, increased unemployment and depressed the economy. He must turn into a salesman, who sells this nation a lot of hope during these hopeless times.
I

hope by the end of his term, in two years’ time, he can point to a long list of accomplishments, more than most Prime Ministers achieve in an entire term. Dr. Majoro will undoubtedly come across roadblocks, challenges and disappointments along the way. Persistence and self belief is critical Mr. Prime Minister.
Playing the safe game will not get Dr. Majoro the opportunities that he should be looking for. He needs to be bold and take some risks or at least calculated risks. He will need to step outside his comfort zone, this will help him to constantly be growing his skills and be seen and noticed by those that matter, the voters.

Mark Gorman argues that “leaders live by choice, not by accident.” Though Dr. Majoro became a Prime Minister by accident, he should not lead by accident but should choose to lead.
I want to conclude with Colin Powell’s powerful words that “leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

I am glad that the ABC legislators thought you could solve our problems. Please do exactly what you were nominated to do, solve Basotho’s problems.

Ramahooana matlosa

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