Focus on the  bigger picture

Focus on the bigger picture

ELSEWHERE in this issue we carry a story of how the two main partners in the coalition government have been squabbling of late over a number of issues.

At the centre of the row is Democratic Congress (DC) leader Mathibeli Mokhothu who the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party says has been fingered in a human trafficking ring.
The two parties have since held separate press conferences where vicious barbs have been exchanged.
The squabbles are the clearest sign that the coalition government is headed for stormy times, with less than 24 months to go before we head to the next general election.

The dispute has become so serious that the DC is now said to be snubbing its weekly meetings with the ABC.
That platform was created to resolve disputes before they blew out of control.
Based on what we have seen over the last eight years when Lesotho began experimenting with coalition governments, we can categorically state that the omens are not looking good.
The dispute is already taking a very familiar route – towards a complete collapse of the government.
That would be sad.

To forestall such an outcome, it is urgent that Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and his deputy, Mokhothu, urgently seek mediation from external players in the civil society or the church.
Without such assistance, we do not see any light at the end of the tunnel. The consequence would be that this coalition government will, like many others before it, bite the dust before its term ends in 2022.

The two protagonists, the ABC and the DC, both appear to be in serious election mode already. They appear determined to outdo each other as they eye a post-2022 victory lap.
It is our humble view that the issues at the centre of the current dispute appear flimsy. There is nothing substantial here.
That is why we think this whole matter is counter-productive.
That is the tragedy of our politics.

Instead of focusing on key issues, we have the biggest partners squabbling over extremely peripheral issues. The real issues are left untouched.
That is really sad.
We are surprised that the two parties are choosing to articulate issues through press conferences. Whatever happened to the art of diplomacy?
Trying to resolve issues in the media and at press conferences will never work. The two parties must lock themselves in a room and thrash out matters until an amicable solution is found.

They cannot afford to play to the gallery.
The issues that have been raised against Mokhothu must be dealt with by the courts.
This is a government that should be focusing all its energies on overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic. We all know that we are facing a serious existential threat as a result of the pandemic.

This government cannot afford to blink for a moment. It must keep its eyes on the ball.
Thousands of jobs have been lost as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The economy is in a tailspin. The tourism sector is in its death throes. Thousands of Basotho are on the verge of starvation.
Yet instead of focusing their energies on combating these threats, our political leaders are involved in a war of words over election matters.
That makes this whole episode sad.

The constant mudslinging will not help Lesotho. Our leaders must focus on the bigger picture and refuse to be dragged into this slinging match.

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