New deal would be flawed

New deal would be flawed

THE dramatic political developments of last week have only served to confirm once again that we are dealing with a wily politician who is determined to leave power on his own terms.
As we reported last week, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is moving to cobble a new coalition government that will allegedly include the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the Movement for Economic Change.
Thabane’s current coalition partners have however distanced themselves from the move with the Basotho National Party (BNP) declaring that it will never sit on the same table with LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing.

The opaque nature of the discussions over the new coalition agreement raises serious questions about Thabane’s intentions. Since February, it would appear that he has been indicating left when he is in fact turning right.
But what is clear is that Thabane is not going anywhere soon. He remains determined to leave power on his own terms especially with a serious murder charge hanging over his head.
His wife, ’Maesaiah Thabane, has already been charged over the June 2017 killing of Lipolelo Thabane. It is becoming clearer that Thabane wants to dictate who takes over from him so that the next Prime Minister will not go after them.
But that will not work.

Thabane and his wife must go through the court process like every other Mosotho. We are all equal before the law.
The proposed new coalition deal is also flawed at a number of levels.
First, it would appear that it is being cobbled under a maze of secrecy to the extent that Thabane’s current coalition partners have been left in the dark.
That to us is a clear red signal.
That raises a number of questions about the motives and intentions of those pushing the deal. What is it that they are hiding?

Is it Thabane himself who is pushing the deal or some individuals behind the scenes who will benefit immensely from such an arrangement?
Thabane has already indicated that he intends to step down by July 31 due to old age.
We find it staggering that while he has already indicated his intentions to step down, he would still push a new coalition deal to extend his own political shelf-life.

At the age of 80, Thabane is well past his sell-by date. The reality is that he has run his course. It is time for him to allow his party to name a successor so that he can go into well-deserved retirement.
We are aware that Metsing and like-minded people have been pushing for a Government of National Unity (GNU). The argument is that only a GNU will provide lasting solutions to Lesotho’s problems.
That is a fallacious argument.

What a GNU does is to create positions for politicians to feed off the national cake that we all know is too small. It would not address the fundamental structural issues that have created the rampant poverty that we see here in Lesotho.
Instead of seeing a GNU as the panacea to all our woes, politicians must be creating an enabling environment for business to thrive. Once business thrives, there will be more jobs for the people so that they look after themselves.
Besides a GNU cannot be organised behind the scenes. There should be clear terms to guide such a process.

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