The politics of insults

The politics of insults

BASOTHO like to brag about being a Christian nation. And to a certain degree that they are devoted Christians is evident in the way they attend church every Sunday and read the Bible even at their political rallies.

Yet it would seem that their commitment to the religion ends with those rather shallow displays.

Beyond that they seem to have very little respect for the key tenets of the religion. One teaching so flagrantly ignored and violated is that of respecting those in authority.
It starts with the way our youths address our leaders.

Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili is referred to as Mosisili and former Prime Minister Thabane is Just Thabane. MPs are ridiculed. But of major concern is that most politicians bandwagon with the people who have been spreading this culture of disrespect.

The political environment has been poisoned by people who peddle lies against the government and other state institutions.

Those who spread falsehoods against the opposition should also share the blame for this toxic political environment.

Their malicious propaganda seems to have found an easy target in the prime minister who, despite having access to the media and have ample opportunities to fight back, cannot be seen to be stooping below his level as a national leader.

Hamstrung by the decorum that comes with his office, the prime minister cannot respond to every malicious rumour concocted and scattered across the political field.
This then creates an “open season” for his political opponents who seem to have now lost any semblance of dignity.

Political leaders, some of whom have been national leaders and participated in politics for years, have resorted to mudslinging tactics.

Equally sad is that they are unrelenting and unrepentant.  You hear the insults at rallies and on radio stations where people are allowed to lampoon others without restraint.

Last December Honourable Monyane Moleleki claimed on a local radio that he had recruited the prime minister into politics.

He said in 1993 he was sent to Tsoelike Constituency as a member of the then Basutho Congress Party (BCP) executive committee to observe the election of Dr. Mosisili to represent that constituency.

To him this justifies his claim that he recruited Ntate Mosisili.
While this might be construed as mere political banter it is clear that the motive is to insult the prime minister and portray him as a political novice.

The logic behind that claim is wrong because it confuse an observer of a process for a recruiter.

Recruiting someone means inducting him anew into an undertaking, or into a new venture.
It is abundantly clear that Ntate Mosisili was not joining BCP then but was contesting to be a constituency representative.

To contest as a constituency representative, you must have been a member of that party for a very long period of time.

The Alliance of Democrats refused to withdraw this dangerous and fallacious statement, hence our response to set the record straight.

Ntate Moleleki was only saying this to insult and embarrass the sitting Prime Minister.
The fact that he was a member of the BCP executive committee does not in any way make him senior to Ntate Mosisili to the extent that he recruited him. To set the record straight, Ntate Mosisili joined the BCP in 1965 when Ntate Moleleki was still a young lad in primary school.

When Ntate Moleleki was doing his first year in 1966 at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland Ntate Mosisili was already an active BCP member.
It must be remembered that in 1965 Ntate Moleleki was only fifteen.

That Honourable Moleleki could not have possibly recruited Ntate Mosisili is not debatable.
From July 3 1970 to November 14th 1971, Ntate Mosisili was locked up for fifteen months at the Maseru Central Prison without charge by Chief Leabua Jonathan for being a BCP member.

l Dr Likoti is the political and economic advisor to Prime Ministerv Pakalitha Mosisili

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