Thabane and wife are not above the law

Thabane and wife are not above the law

Is Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his wife, ‘Maesaiah Thabane, above the law? That is the question that is now confronting Basotho. No one, including the Prime Minister and his wife, is above the law.
But you wouldn’t know that if you listened to recent audio clips and the fact that since the disclosures, the Prime Minister and his wife have not been charged.

It is been three weeks since we got shocking revelations from the Prime Minister’s daughter about Prime Minister Thabane and his wife, ‘Maesaiah Thabane, but no action has been taken against them. The unwritten law now says in effect that, if his skin is thick enough, a Prime Minister is indeed above the law.

What are we teaching the masses of our people? Let us teach the masses of our people that we are all equal before the law. The Lesotho constitution section 19 says “Every person shall be entitled to equality before the law and to the equal protection of the law”.
I am going to begin this article by sharing a letter written by the sixteenth president of United States of America, Abraham Lincoln. He wrote this profound letter to his son’s teacher when his son joined school.

“My son starts school today. It is all going to be strange and new to him for a while and I wish you would treat him gently. It is an adventure that might take him across continents. The adventure may probably include wars, tragedy and sorrow. To live his life will require faith, love and courage.
So dear Teacher, will you please take him by his hand and teach him things he will have to know. Teach him – gently, if you can, that for every enemy, there is a friend. He will have to know that all men are not just, that all men are not true.

Teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero, that for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him if you can, that 10 cents earned is of far more value than a dollar stolen.

In school, teacher, teach him that it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to learn how to gracefully lose, and enjoy winning when he does win.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and to be tough with tough people.
Steer him away from envy if you can and teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Teach him if you can – how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him that there is no shame in tears.

Teach him that there can be glory in failure and despair in success. Teach him to scoff at cynics.
Teach him if you can the wonders of books, but also give time to ponder the extreme mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is doing it. Teach him to listen to every one, but teach him also to filter all that he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him to sell his talents and brains to the highest bidder but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.

Let him have the courage to be impatient and the patience to be brave. Teach him to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind, and in God.
This is a tall order, teacher, but see what best you can do. He is such a nice little boy; he is my son.”

The masses of our people must know that there are so many crooked politicians in our government today. Yet there are also so many lessons our people can learn from this letter, especially in this era of the coalition government where officials go against every principle in the book because all they seek is instant gratification.

Late on the evening of November 21, 2019 I was watching the US President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry. The impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump began after a whistle-blower alleged that Trump had abused the power of the presidency by secretly pressuring the President of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a political opponent, to boost his chances of re-election in 2020.

Then all of a sudden there was breaking news from Israel – the attorney general had indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges. Netanyahu is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu immediately called a press conference where he argued that a sitting Prime Minister can’t be subjected to any criminal investigation, in fact he said that act was an attempted coup.
Two world leaders are being scrutinised by their state institutions. These state institutions in their countries believe that presidents and Prime Ministers are not above the law.

This made me to reflect on what has happened in my country over the past few weeks. Thabane is no normal Prime Minister. His constant disregard for the rule of law is impossible to ignore. We cannot pretend and wish away Adv Nkoea Thabane’s (Mabatšoeneng Hlaele) audio clip.
Thabane-Hlaele accused First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane of involvement in the murder of Lipolelo Thabane. She also accused the First Lady of misusing our taxes to pay for artificial insemination at a South African hospital.

On the international scene, the Prime Minister has become a laughing stock. There are also allegations that Thabane, ‘Maesaiah and Minister Chalane Phori summon public servants to the State House to discuss tenders and allocate them to the Chinese who supported the All Basotho Convention campaigns. What are we teaching to the masses of our people by doing nothing?
The Prime Minister does not have all-consuming power. Thabane and his wife must play by certain rules, and must expect the rule of law to apply. Thabane and his wife, ‘Maesaiah, must be held accountable. No one is above the law.

Prime Minister Thabane and his wife, ‘Maesaiah Thabane must work within the law and must be accountable.
Put simply, ours is a government of laws and not of men or women or husband and wife.
Thabane has paralysed state institutions to make sure that he and his wife enjoy self-imposed immunity. I cannot endorse such actions by the Prime Minister and his wife.

Ramahooana Matlosa

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