The cost of keeping  Thabane and his wife!

The cost of keeping Thabane and his wife!

Two weeks ago I concluded my column with this statement, “If you think elections are costly, try the cost of being governed by the First Lady. As long as the First Lady is still in control of the steering wheel I foresee the costs of running the government skyrocketing.”
I would like to do a cost benefit analysis of keeping the Prime Minister in a project called Government of National Unity (GNU).

I fully support the motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister and his wife. Once upon a time Thabane was the brightest star in the galaxy. Then the wife came along — and suddenly he became a relic.
The fact that politicians cannot even keep their coalition governments for a full mandate has already been a strong point of criticism by many Basotho and has raised questions with regards to national interest or the lack of national interest.

Another key point to be outlined is the turnout. Over the last elections we have witnessed a downward or stagnating trend in the overall turnout in general elections of 47 percent.
This sends negative vibes that the politicians in my country have lost their last traces of credibility in relation to the nation and as a result they don’t appeal to our people anymore.
Lesotho is a democratic state. Democracy means having a government of the people. People have the right to choose their government through elections. And once a government is elected, people expect good governance to promote their welfare.

Since 1993 we have been having elections every five years. But around 2012 this type of democracy ceased to exist. Instead of democracy of elections in five years it became democracy of frequent elections — elections almost every two years!
The frequent elections blew away the good governance in my country and introduced a bad culture of embezzlement of public funds.

Today, the frequent elections have led to erosion of faith and confidence of the public in the politician to provide efficient and honest administration. There is general despair and a shadow of gloom.
Basotho have started asking themselves many questions: Does democracy mean only frequent elections? Frequent elections are bad to the economy and service delivery, for some reason everything and everyone goes into the election mode.

Civil servants, too, get into the election gear. Every project proposal or business plan is examined and seen through the lens of electoral prospects. Public governance is the first casualty of frequent elections.
Public policy is governed more by political calculations to win the elections; the ruling parties avoid implementing good public policies of larger public interest but which are not likely to be taken favourably by voters of some particular community or district or even by some coalition partners of the government.

A lot goes wrong during elections. Political expediency overtakes genuine public welfare and national interest. I despise these frequent elections in the short space of time. Nevertheless elections shall bring an end to Thabane’s terrible regime.
Lesotho is in a crisis because of two individuals; Thabane and his wife ‘Maesaiah!
My purpose for doing a cost benefit analysis of keeping the Prime Minister in a project called Government of National Unity (GNU) or any transitional government is to determine if the temporary government led by Thabane and his wife is sound, justifiable and feasible by figuring out if its benefits outweigh costs.

I understand elections will cost us as a nation over M300 million but I am convinced that cost can never be compared to the deliberate destruction and damage to public finances and the economy.
Prime Minister Thabane, his wife, Yan Xie aka John and Stone Shi have cost this poor country billions of maloti. They are bleeding this economy dry.
M2 billion of two harvests of wool and mohair industry would not have circulated in the economy of Lesotho. Wool and mohair growers are ruined or dead until there comes in a new government that will liberate them.
M3 billion of red meat is not circulating in our economy because butcheries were forced to buy from a Chinese man called Yan Xie aka John who owns Meraka.

Thabane has failed to pay suppliers of goods and services over M1.2 billion in the past year. It’s unbelievable what M1 billion can do to this economy.
But Yan Xie aka John never fails to be paid for services and goods he provides.
Over M5 billion worth of government tenders in the last two years were awarded to Chinese companies.
When a Chinese company is given a government job, that money does not circulate in this economy but rather there is rapid movement of large sums of money out of the country to be kept and invested in other countries.
In economics it’s called capital flight. All the wealth I am talking about is stashed abroad. In fact it is actually fueling the Chinese economy at our expense.

How can this country be encouraged to create a better environment for economic investment when we get aid from the Chinese and accept conditions that keep the money coming in and leaking out of the country?
Let’s look at the Mpiti to Sehlabathebe road case for instance. We get a loan from the Chinese and they force us to use Chinese contractors. Money comes into Lesotho and it goes back to China. How can this bondage be helpful to our economy?

The cost of keeping Thabane and his wife ‘Maesaiah is just too great. He must do the honourable gesture by resigning otherwise he must be forced to go through a motion of no confidence. If he calls for general elections after a successful motion, so be it.
I might not be able to quantify the cost of meddling with the judiciary, disciplined forces and other statutory positions but the impact is unbelievable.
I agree we are in a crisis as a country. The 120 Members of Parliament who have contributed to this mess cannot be trusted to come up with solutions. Our leadership and maladministration challenge must be decided through the ballot.

The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of any government. One of the most critical ways that Basotho can influence governmental decision-making is through voting.
A GNU or any transitional set up under the leadership of Prime Minister Thabane and the First Lady will not solve the above mentioned problems of this nation but rather would serve the interests of a few well-connected politicians.
Let’s rather seek the mandate from the electorate who will consider the above mentioned challenges as they vote!

Ramahooana Matlosa

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