It’s time to throw in the towel

It’s time to throw in the towel

IT hasn’t taken long for the political honeymoon to end.
Prime Minister Tom Thabane is by far more unpopular than the man he replaced two years ago.

Every day he faces new accusations of failing to deliver on his promises and policies.

His government is tottering on the brink of collapse as its coalition parties are rocked by internal feuds.

The government keeps bungling as pressure mounts on it to deliver on its promises.

There is no evidence that this sad trend will end anytime soon.
It doesn’t look like the prime minister has solutions to the many problems that bedevil both his party and government. Each day brings a new crisis that he is incapable of solving.

Even those who were so passionate about his regime are now openly saying he has failed.

They say the prime minister has failed in his mission or task.
Lately, not a day goes by without hearing someone complaining about the government or the prime minister. You see this anger social media.
Newspapers are reporting more evidence that illustrates this paralysis in government.

People are shrieking on radio as they pillory the government for failing them.
I hear the same apprehension among some of my friends who are supporters of the parties in the coalition government.

Some tell me they are shocked by how bad things are in the country. They have gone from just being merely irritated to being furious at the government they elected.

Now some of them are openly calling for Thabane to leave office.
I agree with them because it is probably the only way his government can start working again.

It might also be a good way for him to salvage the little that remains of his legacy.

Having built a strong party and started governing on a promising note, the prime minister has horribly veered off course and seems to be leading the government into the wilderness.

He will not be the first leader to fail his country.
History is replete with leaders who have vigorously undermined their own legacies by either overstaying in power or making reckless decisions.
Pakalitha Mosisili, Robert Mugabe, Jacob Zuma, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir and many others have been part of this history.

Thabane has only been in power for two years but there is ample evidence that he is not up to the task despite the noises from some of his most loyal supporters who insist that he should be given time to steer the ship out of the choppy waters.

One of the reasons for his failure is that he is not leading from the front.
It’s either he is too busy dealing with the chaos in his party or he no longer has the energy and vigour he seemed to possess a few years ago.

Either way, the point remains that things are not working in the government.
State projects seem to be on autopilot. Self-set targets are being missed.
The austerity measures that we were promised will cut government expenditure and boost the economy are flagging because Thabane is not leading from the front.

The prime minister should be reminded that delegating isn’t a licence to pass the buck.

He needs to stay directly involved in overseeing the execution of key strategies because the buck stops with him.
So far he seems to have abdicated his duties or delegated it to some quasi-authorities.

One of the many problems that have plagued the wool and mohair industry is that the prime minister did lead the process to explain the regulatory changes.

He left that important assignment to a group of ministers who already seemed compromised.

The result is that the people trusted neither the policies nor its promoters.
Meanwhile the prime minister stayed on the side-lines of this fiasco. By the time he intervened the damage had been done. He had lost the initiative.
We saw the same lack of leadership in the youth internship programme the prime minister said would place 8000 young people in government offices to get work experience.

This noble initiative seemed to have stalled until the government recently announced that those interested in being part of the project should register with their Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in their districts.
You can see the lack of direction here.

The prime minister is saying the IEC, an independent institution with a specific mandate to run elections, is now getting involved in a government project.

I would understand if the prime minister wants to use the IEC premises for logistical purposes but I just don’t get why the IEC should be involved in the registration process.

Why not use the council offices which are part of the government structures?
As it turned out, we are yet to see anyone being hired under the project.
You have to feel for the 230 000 people who voted for the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and are now realising that they hired a man who cannot deliver on his promises.

They have watched aghast as unemployment increases, hunger spreads, corruption festers and the government bungle national projects.
As I write this local construction companies are squirming because they are losing nearly all government tenders to Chinese companies that they say are favoured by government officials.

What is more frustrating is the despair, desperation and hopelessness that exists among us.

Poor leadership and politics of personal interests have broken our collective spirit and our ability to function as a nation.

There is so much exasperation, bitterness and resentment against the prime minister and his wife.

The path to accountable leadership will be easier to walk for the coalition government if it has the right leader driving the process. We live in an era that requires that leaders show demonstrable outcomes.

We must learn to master the science of delivery. It is time the coalition government decides if it wants to sink with its leader or look for someone who will do the job right. It’s clear that the government should rid itself of its leader. B

By: Ramahooana matlosa

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