MoAfrika’s debunked ideology of hatred

MoAfrika’s debunked ideology of hatred

MoAfrika FM radio station has recently been running a series of radio broadcasts it describes as historical accounts of events that it says took place during the Dr Leabua Jonathan’s rule in the early 1970’s to late 1980’s.

The BNP government was toppled by the military regime in 1986. It returned to power in 2012 as a coalition partner in the ABC-led government. It’s still part of the government to date.

The radio series have split the nation into two in part due to their hyped sensationalism and crude descriptions and in part due to the station’s insistence that the series represent a true account of events. The radio series have become a subject of litigation in the courts.

We will not, for the respect afforded the process of the courts to run its course, delve deeper into them. However what we will do is to interrogate the basis for the station’s decision to run the controversial series with the understanding that such a discussion will expose the station for what it really is.
MoAfrika FM, for background information, is historically credited for being one of the earliest private commercial stations in Lesotho. The station however shuns the tag of being called a commercial station.

It prefers to be called an Evangelical station arguing that it promotes Christian values which amongst other things, calls for the amendment of the constitution to incorporate the Christian religion.

Surprisingly though MoAfrika sustains itself through advertisements something which makes a mockery of its claim that it’s not a commercial radio station. Its owner also wears a similar number of titles ranging from editor-in- chief to Apostle of God. The list goes on.

The subject of contention about the radio series is their omission of a “non-disclaimer” clause in their series. The series are run as a true narration of events which actually happened during a particular era in history. The graphic description of almost all narrated events is so out of kilter with acceptable standards of journalism that to call these series journalism is an insult.

The listener is never warned that what she is about to hear is a work of fiction and has no bearing on any actual events in history. However this is not the line of thinking adopted by the station. Peddling pure lies as truth is justifiable as long as it attracts listenership.

Amongst some of the purely fictionalised accounts narrated in these series is of pregnant women having their bellies ripped open to remove their unborn babies in order to cure the women of giving birth to babies with “Congress blood.”

The sickening falsehood propagated here is that the BNP government was so threatened by the BCP that it had to resort to these extremely ghastly deeds to halt the growing power of the BCP. Even some of the most ardent supporters of Congress parties recoil in horror at these falsehoods. They do not want to be associated with them at all costs.

Another fictionalised account is where people, no doubt supporters or members of the BCP, were buried alive using caterpillars in the district of Leribe at a place called Lipeketheng. The LCD, which has never hidden its full support for these falsehoods in the hope that they will cause massive reputational damage on the BNP, was the first to peddle these lies.

The BNP took it to the IEC tribunal. Unable to corroborate their claims, the LCD admitted to intentionally lying and swore never to repeat the lies again. It’s not clear whether the LCD endorses the current radio series but it would not be surprising that it does. After all it is the LCD who started these lies in the first place.

The reasons for MoAfrika FM to return to these blatant lies about events that never happened is not hard to see. Following the painful loss in the June elections in 2017, and unable to accept life without political power, congress parties, with Mo Afrika as their mouth piece appear hellbent to do whatever they can to wrestle power from the current Thomas Thabane-led government.

We in the BNP are not opposed to the existence of MoAfrika FM as a mouthpiece of the opposition. It’s their choice. Our acceptance of alternative voices in a democratic setting emanates from our firm commitment to the ideals of freedom of speech. It is freedom of speech which give space to a multiplicity of voices.

It is this conviction that help enrich and nurture our nascent democracy. However it is one thing to accommodate different voices and another to accept blatant lies in the name of free speech.

MoAfrika FM has been warned on a number of occasions by the government to honour its commitment to uphold acceptable journalistic standards. It has ignored those warnings with wanton disregard.

The BNP is currently running a petition where it is seeking citizens’ support to have MoAfrika forced to tow the line or face harsh consequences. Our party, the BNP, is not the only victim of the station’s disparaging remarks. At one stage the station went as far as suggesting that this country did not have a government at all.

One could perhaps have forgiven the station had it said there was no accountable government but to say the state was without a government went rather too far. This is just illustrative of how reckless the station is in its desperate efforts to appease its dwindling support base.
So crude is some of the language used by the station that our BNP spokesperson has sworn never to be interviewed there anymore. We support his stance.

His view, which we fully support, is that participating in any interviews hosted by the station under its current line of thinking, propagated by the station’s owner Sebonomoea Ramainoaone, is tantamount to endorsing the station. He is right. MoAfrikaFM has turned itself into a disgrace masquerading as an opposition mouthpiece.

The litany of complaints levelled against the station by members of the public, who sadly do not take their complaints to the LCA, is astounding.
It is not surprising for MoAfrika to sensationalise a complete non-event and turn it up on its head only if it is seen as useful to the propagation of the congress ideology.

The dwindling support of this ideology drives MoAfrika delirious. It is the station’s trademark to insult callers who disagree with their polarising views on air and rudely cutting them midstream in their sentences. The station defends this as true journalism.

MoAfrika has caused itself such massive self-inflicted injuries and it is not our job as the BNP to heal them. At best we want reasonable men and women of goodwill, to see the station for what it is; a fraud pretending to be a voice of reason.

We therefore call on our people all across the land to shun MoAfrika FM with its debunked ideology of hatred, vengeance and polarisation. When our collective condemnation finally bears hard on MoAfrika two things will happen: it will break or it will amend its way. The BNP will have achieved its objective either way. Machere Rose Seutloali is a member of BNP youth league

Machere Rose Seutloali

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