The right noises from Mokhothu

The right noises from Mokhothu

During the past week, I listened to the speech made by Democratic Congress (DC) leader Mathibeli Mokhothu while addressing his supporters at Malingoaneng. At that rally Mokhothu raised a lot of issues, some very important while others were just common political rhetoric.
This piece is not an analysis of Mokhothu’s speech as I am not qualified political analyst. However, it is my prerogative to raise just a few concerns that may help in the development of our rather forgotten country and its economy.

Firstly, Mokhothu makes reference to thorough investigations and the arrest of those suspected in high profile murder cases. I think he is raising a valid point here even if he did not mention particular names.
It has been fashionable for Lesotho politicians especially those in opposition to call for comprehensive investigations into high profile murder cases. However, the moment they settle into government, they forget about what they have been so fiercely advocating for. For that reason, I take that Mokhothu, just like his predecessors in the opposition, is just interested in gaining support through political rhetoric.

Needless to say, if indeed investigating murder cases, in particular the murders of high ranking people was a priority for Mokhothu and his party, he should be providing solutions. That is to say, the DC leader should be giving direction on what needs to be done to bring to book those in the wrong. Or rather, he should be telling us what he would have done or what he would do if he was in government. Otherwise, until such time he gives solid and sound information on what should be done, I consider his utterances just politicking and playing to the gallery.

Secondly, with regard to the no-work, no-pay dilemma that has befallen teachers, I found his speech to be distasteful. He insinuated that it serves teachers right that they did not get paid. His sole reason was that teachers voted this government in power as such they are reaping what they sowed.
I do not think it is befitting for a political leader to be throwing such careless remarks. Instead, he should be courteous when dealing with such sore issues so that he also gains votes from those that feel hard done.
Lastly, I really want to applaud the DC leader for his bold statement that his party will not be sending the elderly to Parliament come next elections.

Lesotho politics have been turned into a pension scheme where those in both the public service and private sector spend their time after service.
This practice has in turn also made our foreign missions, parental boards of directors and other institutions affiliated with government into hubs for elderly citizens. This happens despite the very high youth unemployment that this country is facing.

In some instances, some institutions make sure they reserve positions for the elderly by putting up gatekeepers in the form demanding vast experience of up to 20 years for vacant positions.

For that reason, I am not sure if I should start celebrating this statement or wait until I see the actual implementation. Just like Mokhothu, I have a strong belief that parliament is not a retirement home. So I would very much like to see this statement turned into policy or binding legislation.
It is also my contention that it is high time we as Basotho start respecting the august house and give it the dignity it deserves. I am of the view that we can easily achieve that status if we put our mind and energy to it. We should not be afraid to ruffle a few feathers for the benefit of our country and our people.

I therefore challenge all political parties, both represented and those that are not represented in parliament to take Mokhothu up on his challenge of not sending the elderly to parliament.
In fact, I am looking forward to Mokhothu putting this utterance as a motion in parliament. I suggest that the youthful leader should sell his idea to fellow MPs where they will debate the maximum age for MPs. While at that they should not forget to put a limit to the number of terms an MP should serve in the House.

I feel that this is too good a suggestion to be just left for the implementation of one political party, hence my reasons for pleading with the DC leader to bring others on board. That way, all political parties will be forced to abide by the set standards.

Kelello Rakolobe

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