In defence of Monyane Moleleki

In defence of Monyane Moleleki

Hon. Monyane Moleleki, Mokola as he is affectionately known by both his followers and nemeses alike, is one to mesmerise audiences and listeners with his oratory skills, both in Sesotho and English.

He is also known to be someone of a tranquil character and quite a joker. This last attribute is the one that has many a time led people to either inadvertently or intentionally misunderstand particular utterances from him.

In November last year, Mokola left many wondering what he meant when he announced that he was no longer going to avail himself as a candidate for his Machache constituency in future general elections.
Recently, people were scratching their heads after a video of him emerged in social media circles where he was in a closed meeting, addressing members of his party.

Some even launched a scathing attack on him, claiming that he was in effect casting doom and gloom to the current coalition government’s survival chances. The Insight section of thepost newspaper (January 25 – 31 2018, Vol. 4, Issue 6) carried an article titled “We need ‘more opposition’ and not ‘no opposition’” by Poloko Khabele.

In my opinion, parts of this article represent the epitome of the afore-mentioned misinterpretations that are at times associated with what Mokola had previously said. I largely and in general share the author’s sentiments as they are expressed throughout this article but I find the insinuation that Mokola is trying “to guarantee (his) job security” a bit objectionable and smacks of cynicism.

The author semi-correctly says, “Disabuse yourself of the notion that politicians in Lesotho are in politics because they want to make a difference”.
I find this sweeping statement unfortunate considering drastic and seemingly unorthodox steps Mokola has taken in the past to be where he is, especially in the face of adversity. Mokola has represented Machache as the constituency’s Member of Parliament from ever since restoration of democracy in 1993.

On the balance of probability, he would go on to win the constituency if he had intentions to continue to stand. Notwithstanding, Mokola has as I have mentioned earlier, pulled the plug on this chequered and impressive run.

In an unconventional move, it is the same Mokola who not only turned his back on the then seemingly powerful Pakalitha Mosisili and the DC party he helped form, but also resigned from His Majesty’s cabinet, only to sit on the cross bench in the National Assembly.
This he did with zero certainty as to who would support and dare to join him there, considering what the author said vis-à-vis Lesotho politicians being in politics only as a means of income.

Cynics may argue that the fact that Mokola’s faction lost the case against Ntate Mosisili’s faction in December 2016 meant that Mokola was finished within the DC and therefore he was bound to quit cabinet anyway.

Be that as it may, I would argue that Mokola’s faction was going to win the case in the apex court of the land had he waited for that to take place.
It is Mokola who acted selflessly and took it upon himself to meet with and pave way for the coming home of the then exiled leaders of opposition parties, Ntate Thabane and others.

Again, one may argue that he needed them to form the next government should it come to that. Once again, this speculative opinion is flawed and lacks objectivity.  I say this because just as Mokola suffered under Ntate Thabane’s previous administration (remember the call to shave his head so loads of diamonds could be retrieved from Mokola’s head), but went on to meet Ntate Thabane in exile; today, Mokola is once again calling for government to bring home the currently exiled opposition politicians.

Are all these just to save his job? An emphatic No is the answer. Ever since the time when Mokola was still a member of DC, he has always advocated for the cessation of dividing this nation along partisan politics lines.
He has since then swum against the current and declared the notion that nationalists and those in the congress movement can easily be likened to a mixture of oil and water a fallacy and reckless.

So, his message of today resonates well with what he has been saying all along and reverberates right into the future. This further highlights consistency as one of his many likeable virtues, something that cannot easily be associated with a typical politician.

As it usually happens with all of us depending on our training and orientation, Ntate Poloko Khabele has fallen victim of the skewness of analysis towards politics and negating the impact of what is currently going on with the Lesotho economy.
Ntate Monyane Moleleki, being the visionary that he is, has picked the impact on politics and the economy right from the get-go. Lesotho has held three general elections “in one term”.

The citizens of this country have financed each of these elections with the amounts hovering between M250 to M350 million. These amounts do not include the infamous settlement of interest free loans and the payment of fringe benefit tax to the LRA attached to them.
Basotho have had to dig deep into their pockets for these too. Imagine how many houses would have had electricity installed if Ntate Monyane’s proposition was to be heeded and implemented. This subtle approach that he is using to solve this waste of resources can only be lauded and not frowned upon.

Most countries, if not all have at least one credit rating agency reporting and allocating scores on it. The reason for this is that potential investors need these reports before they risk investing their monies into any country.
Lesotho is not an exception. Fitch Ratings Agency launches missions to Lesotho annually to check how the country is progressing and produces reports and scores to this end.

To attract potential investors to come and invest, and therefore create jobs in this country, Lesotho needs to perform well economically; practice good governance and uphold the rule of law; and be politically stable.

Based on what is currently taking place, Lesotho’s potential and improvement is suppressed and compromised by the unstable political climate.
If Ntate Monyane Moleleki’s suggestion and advice is heeded, Lesotho is certain to be politically stable; achieve higher scores by the rating agencies; after which a conducive environment would have been created for potential investors to come and invest in this country.

If, after 50 years of independence, during which we should have learned how other countries go about practicing democracy, we still cannot be a stable country due to intolerance, then in order to improve economically at least, we are better off with no opposition, at least for the time being.

Mosito Ntema

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