Stop feeding the masses excuses

Stop feeding the masses excuses

Sometime last year I came across a Facebook post by one Tabai Motuba who contended in his post that what happened in the 1970s has no place in the development of present day Lesotho. He further mentioned that since the BCP took government reins nothing has been done to investigate the atrocities of the BNP led government and that even some of the affected families including his, have not bothered anyone about investigations.

For those who do not know, Tabai Motuba is the son of the late Mahlomola Edgar Motuba, a Leselinyana la Lesotho journalist who was brutally murdered on September 7, 1981 by the notorious Koeeko and his body dumped at Lithotseleng, Siloe, in Mohale’s Hoek. From the day I read that Facebook post, my perspective on the congress-national politics changed.
However, it is not many people, including our leaders that possess the foresight and intelligence of Mr Motuba. I may liken him to the godfather of the congress movement, Dr Ntsu Mokhehle, who when he took the reins of government in 1993 never retaliated against the Nationalists.

However, we see his present day “followers” reminding us every day how cruel and inhuman the Nationalists are. We also hear on the other hand the Nationalists always blaming everything that goes wrong in this country on the Congress and the legacy of Ntsu Mokhehle.
The other fashionable thing nowadays, especially on social media is that most if not every time the picture of Lesotho Airways is shared or talk is made of projects and other failures that have occurred since Lesotho returned to democratic rule in 1993, we are told that it is the fault of Congress “kapa Macongress ke ona a bolaileng ntho tsena.”

Some have even named it the “Congress Virus” that has destroyed all developments made by the post-independence government led by Dr Leabua Jonathan or Nationalists as the BNP is fondly called.
I am not old enough to remember this airplane and many other achievements of the BNP government. As such my knowledge of them is second-hand information that I was told by others or that I read from books.
But what I know and what I have seen is that most of the leaders we have today have been in government for many years and jumped ship claiming that congress is the reason developments are minimal or things are as they are. We trusted them and once again gave them power but things continue as was.
The constant factor being blaming of those they were with.

“They were corrupt and misused the public funds for their benefit hence why we left them,” are some of the popular lines we are hear not only during election campaigns but even beyond whenever we ask about progress made since being in power.
So I wonder who this Congress is that is killing my beloved country. I am not a student of Political Science but I was made to believe Congress was an ideology so how is this ideology killing this country?

Is it people or the ideology and if its people does changing ideology, if it changes (I doubt) or names and colours of parties mean there will be change in the beautiful Kingdom? I have not done research but I am yet to see change.

The next constant thing is that the government is broke because the previous regime misused the funds and we have the opposition retaliating by saying “it’s a lie.” This is despite the warnings and good strategies that the Ministers of Finance also put forward in their budget speeches.

In 2009 the then Finance Minister gave warning about the decline of SACU revenues but nothing was ever done. The Budget Speeches are full of visible strategies but none have materialized thus far. Where are personalised plate numbers? Will we ever see the establishment of a diamond centre that has seen the presence in the budget since 2012?
So how is my long essay connected to my heading or question? My understanding of Congress movement in Lesotho is that it is based on Pan-Africanism and social democracy.
The most interesting aspect of Pan-Africanism being commitment to encourage and strengthen solidarity between Africans while social democracy aims at commitment to policies aimed at curbing poverty and inequality. It is baffling to see the present congress leaders have digressed so much from this ideology.

My small brain fails to comprehend the “water and oil ideology” and benefits of those entrusted with power while the majority of the people are unemployed and poor. The very same ideology that Motuba, who does not know the love of his father also thinks is outdated and has no place in our beautiful country.
I also fail to understand how then such a beautiful ideology as the congress one has failed to emancipate the people of this Kingdom. The current regime has distanced itself from the Congress ideology but continue to fail the country and its people.

Now the question that remains is: Who is to blame in this case? Are we still justified in blaming congress ideology for every wrong doing that is happening in this country? Or rather should we blame our leaders for sowing discontent and hatred among Basotho in their endeavour to get parliamentary seats?
As I continue asking myself these rhetorical questions, I am not blind to the fact that most of the current crop of leaders, in government and opposition, have served under the Congress banner or ideology and they left either for a new party or ideology because those they were with were failing.

By so saying I am suggesting that this is not time to point fingers at past regimes or start playing the congress-nationalist blame game. It is rather time to implement that which thousands of Basotho including myself, braved the cold of June 3, 2017 to vote for. My conclusion is that as long as we allow politicians to blame the past for present failures they will never be accountable or implement strategies that will help this country. Most people voted in order to get rid of the “Congress Virus” but the results remain the same.

We still have those in opposition blaming the Nationalists for killing their forefathers and we still have those in government blaming the congress for misappropriation of funds and of late for the killings of all people that died during their rein. If someone is given power to bring change then he/she should do that and stop feeding the masses excuses.

BY: Kelello Rakolobe

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