When some animals are more equal than others

When some animals are more equal than others

One of the most interesting books that I have read is an allegorical novel written by George Orwell called Animal Farm. Orwell’s book was a warning that the ideology that was being engaged by the government of the Soviet Union was not realistic. Rather it was a feeble dream being sold to the people.
For those who are not aware of the book I will just give a brief summary of what it is about. This is a book that was published in England in 1945. It is a story about animals on a farm that revolted against the farmer because they believed he was not treating them well. The animals decided to choose leaders amongst themselves. They hoped that if they were led by one of their own and not a human their lives would improve and they would not be mistreated.

At the beginning of their own democratic government, the animals agreed on a set of rules that would direct them. One of the rules was “all animals are equal.”
However, the animals that led the pack, the pigs, became greedy and started adopting the lifestyle of the people. When questioned about the changes they were making on the farm, they secretly changed the rules. One important rule they changed was that of “all animals are equal” which they converted to “all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
During the reign of the government led by congress cadres, many people from all sectors in Lesotho became agitated. Their main concern was the high level of nepotism that was on display. There was rampant abuse of the tender system.

The highly politicised deployment of top government officials, such as Principal Secretaries and ambassadors, was carried out in the most unethical of ways. All these and more misfortunes did not sit down well with most Basotho. As such they wanted change in the way things were being done.
It is for the reasons tabulated in the preceding paragraphs that Basotho felt the need to do away with Pakalitha Mosisili and anything that was connected to the congress ideology. Their belief was that all that had connections with the congress movement was rotten and a platform for injustice.
As a result, Basotho made sure that on 3 June 2017, they kicked the congress government and all those who shared similar ideology from office. They did what the animals in the book Animal Farm did to Mr Jones, the farm owner.

Unfortunately their newly found joy in the new coalition government did not last long as they were soon to discover that actually nothing had changed. When the new government came into office, the deployment policy of top government officials remained the same.
The allocation of tenders to friends and family never changed. When the masses began to complain and grumble that nothing had changed they got a very simple answer from those in authority: this happened even during the previous coalition government led by Mosisili.

It is a sad reality for Basotho to realise today that the government they voted into office is similar to the one they discarded. It is very sad to realise that the change they thought they voted for does not exist. Dreams have been trashed and hopes have been dashed as reality sets in that in Lesotho all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
It is really sad to realise that even though public servants got a zero percent salary adjustment, the government can still manage to buy top of the range cars for senior officials.
Moreover, it is evident that although the government cannot abide by the court ruling to give police officers their six percent salary adjustment, official trips will not be curbed. Just the other day I was baffled to come across a leaked government memo on a trip to Vancouver, Canada, for a Women Deliver Conference.
The alleged memo has a list of five men that will accompany one woman to a supposed “women’s conference.” I really am perplexed as to how the delegation was chosen. My concern is not necessarily of the number of delegates as that will be debate for another day. The bone of contention for me is what all those men will be doing during the proceedings of the conference.

I am also wondering if those men are being genuinely sent for the benefit of the country or for the benefit of their own pockets as they will be given per diems. It is issues like this that remind us that what Orwell has written did not only apply to the old Soviet Union but is a timeless piece of literature that still affects us even today.
I so wish that one day all animals will at least be equal in the true sense of equality. I hope when the reforms are done and dusted we will have a depoliticised public service, professionalised foreign missions and arms of state that are independent.

Kelello Rakolobe

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