The wildcard

The wildcard

MASERU – AS far as the All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s rabidly tribal politics go, ’Matšepo Ramakoae’s name should not be anywhere near the list of those vying for the position of Prime Minister.
She is a lightweight in a class of heavyweights who claim to have the numbers and the clout to trample on wildcard candidates like her.
But here she is: mentioned in the same breath with the so-called bigwigs.

Not that she is a political novice. She won the hotly contested Matsieng seat and is a former Deputy Minister of Finance.
She is confident that she can make a good Prime Minister.

“I am an MP and I will take the position if elected. Every politician is in politics to hold the highest office,” she says.
She doesn’t mince her words when talking about the need for women to lead the government.
“Men have failed us and it’s time for women to lead.”

She says it is time for those in power to accept that they have failed the country.
Ramakoae is worried about the slow pace of the reforms she says are supposed to be the anchor to the country’s economic growth. The reforms will therefore be her main focus if she becomes Prime Minister.
“They are good reforms but we are not moving fast enough. It’s a pity because those reforms will help the country to be stable and grow its economy.”
She says the battles have diverted the ABC’s attention from the core issues in its manifesto. The party, she adds, has lost its way “because we have been too busy fighting each other instead of working for the people”.

“The result is that people are disgruntled, suppliers are not being paid and people are hungry. Service delivery is dead and so is our economy”.
“We have to put our house in order but for that to happen we have to unite and put the right people in key positions. We must accept that we have failed Basotho”.
Ramakoae however knows that there will be many banana skins on her way to the highest office in government.
Although she is a well-known ABC MP, her political base seems thin.

And that’s because she has not featured prominently in the factional battles in the party.
That low profile might either help or sabotage her.
Having largely stayed away from the brawl, she might be seen more as a compromise candidate in a group dominated by people who are either major players in the fight or instigators of it.
The downside is that by staying in the peripheries she might have missed a chance to gather the essential political currency that might help her rise.
Without the utility of a faction she might not muster enough votes from the MPs.
But Ramakoae is reluctant to write herself off.
She says she is not perturbed by naysayers.

Staff Reporter

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