The last kicks of a dying horse

The last kicks of a dying horse

THE latest political developments that have unfolded in the coalition government can be termed as the last kicks of a dying horse. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane no longer enjoys the majority support in Parliament, and a result, he is now engaged in very dangerous moves that are detrimental to our democracy.

It is said that a dying horse can manage to engage in some kicks. These kicks may be dangerous, but they don’t last long. Progressively, they become weaker and weaker until the horse finally gives up. For the purposes of this article the horse we are talking about is Thabane.

Basotho have been praying for the government and Thabane’s rule to come to an end but things have been getting worse. But I bring good news to the Kingdom. Basotho should know that their prayers are about to be answered. What we are seeing are just the last kicks of a dying horse.

Some of these kicks may be dangerous, but they will not last long. Progressively, they will become weaker and weaker until the horse finally dies. Thabane’s rule will come to an end. The coalition government is badly bruised. They have tried these tricks and did not succeed, and the opposition keeps intervening decisively.

First kick, he prorogued Parliament in the name of controlling the coronavirus. But in my opinion it had nothing to do with coronavirus. He was merely buying more time to stay in power. When Parliament is prorogued, every business falls off.

So the amendment to the constitution which had passed the National Assembly to prevent the Prime Minister from taking the nation to elections after losing the motion of vote of no confidence has to start the process again. Now, that is a terrible kick.

Second kick, in his desperation to stay relevant, they have resorted to the wicked and dastardly act of using soldiers to attack civilians in the name of the lockdown. The government is silent yet the army is abusing the rights of citizens. Basotho are being dehumanised and beaten by the army in public.
Third kick, Thabane intimidated those who were going to hold a press conference to announce the new coalition arrangement between All Basotho Convention (ABC) faction led by deputy leader Prof Nqosa Mahao and the Democratic Congress (DC). He labelled those intending to attend the event as terrorists who were rebelling and were resisting his authority.
My country’s script keeps repeating itself. Harry S. Truman reminds us that “the only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.”

So please tell Thabane that this is not new, he did exactly the same thing in 2016 when he held a press conference to announce the then new coalition arrangement between the ABC and the DC faction led by deputy leader Monyane Moleleki. This happened while former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was still the prime minister and leader of DC.

The same script is repeating itself today.  Thabane and Moleleki taught us a principle described by Jean Anouilh as “nothing in politics is irreparable.” But he wants to preach loyalty today and calls those moving against him rebels. I can foresee an election very soon, which was the same outcome of the last coalition announcement in 2016.
Forth kick, the recent cabinet reshuffle was a desperate move by Thabane.

He fired Tefo Mapesela and Keketso Sello as ministers. This move is to threaten and drive fear in the faction gearing to oust the premier.
In my opinion the move indicates desperation. It is a bad move for the country and raises questions about the integrity of the government. The problem is with the timing and the way this reshuffle was done.

Instead of providing good answers to the many criticisms, the Prime Minister has chosen to remove his critics. But the questions are still left unanswered. Mapesela has now confirmed that the Prime Minister’s wife runs government.

This was a desperate move by a desperate man who is increasingly bypassing his own political party and the NEC and the coalition partners, in an attempt to achieve his own private agenda. This move was very reckless, but it comes as no surprise to some of us. It is the last dangerous kicks of a dying horse.

Basotho must not let down their guard against Thabane and his coalition government officials. They lost their charm due to improprieties. Thabane and his government have done everything in their power to break strong national values by trying to create a corrupt society where there is no right or wrong.

Basotho should hold on to values such as honesty, peace, transparency, national interest and development. This propensity, acid tested by oppressors as well as the irresponsible and the corrupt on various occasions, has sailed safe through the tide of time.

Evidently, the events we are witnessing lately are the last kicks of a dying horse. Soon the last nail will be hit on the coffin of this system that has already got its leg in the grave. Thabane must stop playing games, these kicks are hurting Basotho and their economy.

What will it take to stop him? He must do the decent thing by opening Parliament and allowing members to exercise their constitutional rights. A vote-of-no-confidence should be tabled. If he loses, he has an option of calling for elections.

I am saying this because Lesotho system of government is known as negative parliamentarism, which means the Prime Minister is not elected, there is no vote in the parliament before a new government assumes power. The Prime Minister is presumed to enjoy majority of the members of National Assembly until proven otherwise. Members of Parliament only elect the Speaker then those who elected the speaker are presumed to enjoy the majority.

It can be proven otherwise through a motion of no confidence. We know the ABC, the Prime Minister’s party, is divided but that cannot be used to conclude that the Prime Minister no longer enjoys the support from the majority of members in the National Assembly. It needs to be tested in Parliament through a no-confidence motion.

So please open Parliament, Mr Prime Minister so that we can test if you still enjoy the majority support in the house. The national budget still needs to be tabled if you win the prorogation case after three months. Thabane can run but he will eventually be caught.

Ramahooana Matlosa

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