The problem child of SADC

The problem child of SADC

THERE is a saying that goes, politics are too important to be left in the hands of politicians. However, in Lesotho, it looks like we have neglected and left an important institution named politics in the wrong hands.
The recent regrettable events that took place in our country about two weekends ago have demonstrated that our politicians are not committed to making Lesotho a better place for all. They are not committed to the development and advancement of the economy.

Lesotho politicians are simply preoccupied with their self-interests and obsession with political power. Even right in the middle of a global pandemic named Covid-19 crisis, Lesotho politicians still feel the need to cause trouble to an extent where a delegation from South Africa consisting of Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa had to be deployed to intervene. Just imagine!

The entire SADC region had to come to a standstill to listen to the latest cat-fight from Lesotho. Heads of States like President Masisi from Botswana had to take time-off from their busy schedules to listen to a load of rubbish from Lesotho.

Some of the Presidents such as President Mnangagwa from Zimbabwe, had to adjust their busy schedules from dealing with the Covid-19 crisis in order to be briefed by former SA Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, on the latest scandals from a tiny island within South Africa (that is how one Botswana journalist described Lesotho).

Meanwhile, Lesotho had to deal with a scandal of an arrest of the Minister of Police, a person that is entrusted with being a custodian of the constitution. The Minister of Police was accused of being on the wrong side of the law for violating the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, amongst the many things he was accused of.

I’m still a fairly young person but as far as I can remember, Lesotho has been on the SADC agenda since August/September 1998. This has been 22 years and Lesotho has had to ask for an intervention from SADC almost on a yearly basis. It has been 22 years of instability and 22 years of acting childish.

As far as I can remember, three politicians have always troubled Lesotho for the past 22 years, since 1998. In Sesotho we say: Lesotho haesale le lujoa le ho hlokisoa botsitso ke bo-ralipolitiki ba bararo ba hlokang khotso.
This time around, two of the usual suspects were at it again with the latest blunder that needed a SADC intervention. Hao banna, don’t these people get tired because we are tired? Hee re khathetse!

As I’ve mentioned, it has literally been 22 years of economic stagnation caused by three people that has led to Lesotho having the lowest GDP in the SADC region.
SADC would never be told about Lesotho preparing to construct a new state of the art university or planning to build a new state of the art border-post. It is always about a political mud wrestling caused by three politicians.
That is the reason why Judge Phumaphi from Botswana was quite embarrassed to hear some of the childish fights going on in the country. This was during the Phumaphi Commission that was held in Lesotho around 2016.

We have very serious problems in Lesotho. This financial year of 2020/2021, is going to be one of the toughest years in recent times. In fact, the next five years are going to be some of the toughest in the history of Lesotho, mainly due to the Covid-19 crisis.

This is a time when politicians have to stand together and show unity to fight the scourge of the pandemic. Our politicians have to stand together to show leadership and give Basotho citizens a bit of hope.
But no, Lesotho politicians demonstrate on a day-to-day basis that they are simply incapable of doing anything right. They are incapable of running a small state made up of two million people.

I have come to accept that the current crop of politicians is simply beyond redemption. Nothing can ever change them. They can only be compared to an engine that was kept running without oil.
Anyway, we are faced with a mountain of a problems named the Covid-19 pandemic. The current lockdown seems to have caused a lot of harm than good. Well, those are the sentiments of the business sector. Small businesses are always the first to suffer in any instance or shock to the economy. They are basically bleeding to death at the moment.

The current financial year, 2020/2021 is going to be even worse. I predict a revenue collection of about 3 Billion Maloti because of the current Covid-19 lockdown. Things are about to get worse before they can get any better.
The next five years are going to be the most challenging years in our modern times as Basotho. This is a time when Lesotho needs focused and bold leadership not childish cat-fights that will require SADC to intervene.
It is certainly not a time for petty political fights. As things stand, Lesotho is at a risk of a complete economic meltdown that will force it to become a 10th province of South Africa. That is the biggest risk facing Lesotho at the moment, mainly as a result of the government’s inability to pay public servants salaries due to cash-flow problems. That reality is near.

To avoid all that, as a plea once again, give King Letsie III executive powers for the sake of peace, unity, reconciliation and economic stability. Democracy is a system that has failed for Lesotho. Why does Lesotho maintain a flawed system that has become a catalyst for corruption, poverty and conflict?

‘Mako Bohloa

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