Lack of cohesion will hurt Basotho

Lack of cohesion will hurt Basotho

AT the time of writing this editorial last night, it appeared as if the coalition government led by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro would survive after all.
This after a week of frenzied talk within the corridors of power that Majoro was facing an imminent ouster after his spectacular fall-out with former Law Minister Professor Nqosa Mahao.

The All Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader, backed by a dozen MPs, has since left the party to form his own Basotho Action Party (BAP).
Mahao’s defection was expected to have a domino effect, eventually triggering a collapse of the coalition government.
That has not happened yet.
But who has the numbers will only become clearer when Parliament reconvenes tomorrow. MPs aligned to Mahao are expected to cross the floor from the ruling party benches to the opposition.

Yesterday, the Democratic Congress (DC) party led by Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu threw its weight behind Majoro.
It would appear that despite its hatred of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who is seen as damaged goods politically, the DC is prepared to work with Majoro.

The next few days will be telling for the coalition government.
A weakened ABC will of course find it tough to negotiate with its emboldened coalition partners who might think the party is up for the taking.
There is already grumblings within the coalition government that now that the ABC has lost a chunk of MPs to Mahao, it cannot still demand the same number of cabinet positions as before.

That perhaps graphically illustrates what is wrong with our politics. We have a bunch of politicians whose main focus is their own narrow, selfish agendas.
Those who had been left out last time are all eyeing ministerial posts. They all want to fill the four vacancies left by Mahao and his compatriots. We should therefore expect fireworks in the next few weeks.

The current political soap opera does not surprise us at all. We have seen this before.
In fact, what the events of last week merely prove is what we have always known – that the “cake” is small and that all our politicians want a chance to eat at the high table.
They will therefore do all they can to nudge others off the table. It’s that basic.

But as we have argued in previous editorials, this regrettably takes the development agenda a few steps back. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on small businesses.
Most are now in the intensive care unit. Thousands of jobs have been lost. Companies have shut down.
The tourism industry is virtually dead. Our agriculture sector is in the doldrums.

All these issues, which must receive top-most attention from the government, have now been put on the backburner as our politicians fight for political survival.
As politicians fight for relevance, the ordinary Mosotho is battling to survive. The standards of living continue to plummet. The internal wrangling with the ABC has hurt Basotho.

The truth though is that we need a stable coalition government so that businesses can thrive. At the moment, we have simply shot ourselves in the foot.
What we have seen over the last week was a self-serving exercise by politicians drunk with power. It was ill-timed chaos that will simply bankrupt Basotho.

We believe there are more pressing matters that our politicians should be focusing on rather than these endless power retention gymnastics.
We need stability and cohesion if the economy is to recover.

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