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Transforming patiently

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The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.

This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.
It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.

As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.

Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.

The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.

This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.
It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that

we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.

Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.

This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.
It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.

As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.

Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry.

We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.

This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture.

From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.

It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.

As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.
This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry.

We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.

This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.
It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.

As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.
Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.
This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry.

We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.
It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office.

Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.
Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.
It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.
Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.
Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.
It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.
It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.
The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.
Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.
It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.
Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.
Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to

Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.
Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.
It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.

Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.
The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.
It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.
Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.

It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.
Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.
This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in

Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.
The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.
It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.
Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.
Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.
It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.
The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.
This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.
It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.
Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.

It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with.

Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.
The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.
The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.
Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.

It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion.

There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.
Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with.

Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.
The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be.

The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.

Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.

The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.
Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.

It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.
Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services.

Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.
Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.
It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere. The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.

This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be.

The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.
Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is.

We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway.

He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.
It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.

Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.

It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.

As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.
Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.

Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.

It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere.

The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.
This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.
Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry.

We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.The gentleman in a blue suit slips on the footbridge and lands with a splash in the waters of the slipway. He slides some way on the concrete now green and slippery with slime but manages to stop his slide down to the retainer pool at the edge of the dam, picks himself up and takes his bag. He climbs on to the ramp of the footbridge shakes his dripping pants dry and carries on with the long walk to the office. It is a sad sight watching this gentleman carry on with the long walk to work, when he could have gone back home to change into dry clothes, but home is probably some considerable distance backwards, and he might not have had the fare to pay the cab.

It is a sight I might see for some while on these morning meditation sessions by the lake, and it is the story of a people living on the peripheries of society trying to eke a living in these hard times. It is a tale penned since Dickensian times when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, a story of people living in the concrete jungles of different cities trying to make a living out of the desperation slowly constricting economies in its python grip.

It is the life of the writer to observe the trends as they unfold and the past seven years or more have been a series of economic lapses across the globe. The younger economies of post-independence Africa have taken most of the brunt of the economic recession and the people living in these African countries (exclude Rwanda and Botswana) have been forced to take desperate measures just to make it through the day. From peddling cigarettes to selling their bodies on the streets, the plight of the African seems an affair that will take some long while to get rid of.
This is despite the many projects aimed at alleviating poverty that are in progress, the case of Africa’s emancipation from the clutches of hunger and starvation is marred by one fact: corruption. Born out of the political condescension that is rampant on the continent, the masses suffer because of ignorant politicians whose main preoccupation is filling their bellies and promises to cronies. We have become characters in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth where it seems that the only action we can take is of the violent sort if we are to be heard.

The Fanon masterpiece in its narrative follows a pattern that progresses from spontaneous uprising to national revolution which ends in postcolonial government. Hinging on the effects of colonial legacy, the book is in support of the ideal of nationhood rather than culture. From the first chapter which reveals how colonialism sows the seeds of its own overthrow, with the settler teaching the native that the latter is a mere animal through violence, that same native comes back in the form of a violent revolutionary in the last days of colonisation. After winning the liberation war, it is the formation of the new government and the revelation is on true character of the upper class of society ‘the national bourgeoisie’.
Driven largely by self-interest, the members of this class that includes doctors, lawyers and administrators should not be allowed to dominate the new government, so Fanon argues. His argument is that these ones are only there to maintain the old colonial structures of exploitation and oppression.

It can be argued that the plight of this here land is not caused by the maintenance of colonial structures, that the people only face the misfortune of electing wrong political leadership. I beg to differ and assert that we are poor because we have always held the tendency of choosing a leadership that is the direct product of colonial education. 90% of Lesotho’s leadership are direct products of colonial education, and it seems as fact that they were never weaned of the uppity ways of the colonial lords and commissioners of the protectorate days.
As soon as a village boy or girl is elected into the office of government, the scene changes and he or she becomes the member of the class that cannot be touched by the same people that elected them into office. Lesotho fails because it has a leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the people. Independence in this country was only on paper, and the sheepish nation willingly goes to the voting booth despite being disappointed countless times since independence. There shall be no revolution in this country because the public cowardice is far too deep. There is no sense of nationhood in this country, only a few cliques and cabals that keep on increasing in number with every party’s split.

Divided into political parties that each have their own cultures means that we are more likely to be polarised than to be united, and the current scenario means that the public are only there to serve the interests of the politicians. The first generation of leaders were of the educated class, and it is said the current premier and his predecessors are members of this class (excepting the general that ended the first regime in 1986). This means that the mentality was from the onset colonial, with the ruling class belonging to a class that considered themselves a few notches higher than the peasantry of the land whose only role has been to cast the vote and watch the frenzy for the fiscus go on until the next polling date.

Taught to think that they are different on the basis of party colour, Basotho go on to be disenfranchised because their leader is always right even when the cracks in character are apparent to a blind man. It is not the interest of the nation that is the point of argument in many of the discussions one hears either on radio or in the news; it is the interest of the political power leading government that forms the core of the discussion. There are also no questions with regard to the welfare of the people, there are only statements defending the shredded integrity of political scallywags and pederasts whose knavery has seen this kingdom regress to the point where the citizens will accept anything, even if it means they are being short-changed.

Fanon suggested ‘decentralisation in the extreme’ as the only solution to the problems in the post-colonial government. We have had more than 50 years of independence, but Maseru is regarded the centre of everything despite apparent incompetence with the notion of this one overcrowded space being the centre of Lesotho. What could be decentralised and executed at district level always finds one having to come to Maseru to get the needed services. Had the system been implemented differently, change could have been achieved at a speedier pace.

Instead of one having to come to Maseru to get basic services, one could simply go to the local authority offices and get the needed services from any one of the administrators or clerks. The colonial notion that put Maseru as the centre of the state means that people still have to leave their districts to come and queue in long lines for services that take less than 10 minutes to issue. What the colonisers did was to castrate the power of the local office, meaning that one often has to travel very far to access services they could easily get if the government was not centred around Maseru. This city is a colonial vestige with its government offices and snobbish civil servants corrupt enough to accept bribes from poor peasants come to the city to get free basic services.

It does not make sense why the people are so hooked on impotent political regimes that are bent on lying to the masses instead of delivering on the promises. One becomes oblivious to the political tautologies being posed as the truth by the political class. It has come to the point where many people with an inkling of common sense have come to regard the politicians as a bunch of liars. Their view is not unfounded, considering the many blunders with the implementation of social welfare programmes and economic development strategies.
Their failures are hardly ever followed by serious retrospective discussion; the now common practice finds politicians pointing fingers at rivals for failures. We do not need the type of leadership that point fingers, what we need are decisive and honest leaders whose sole goal is to serve the masses to the best of their ability. The now common practice where leaders speak to the masses as if they are children must be done away with. Issues are often discussed in simplest terms (and imposed), as if the people have no sense of their own.

The political history of this country points to an abysmal sense of immaturity that finds people unsure when it comes to making the right decisions in the selection of the leadership. Protected within the benefits of being a protectorate, Lesotho never matured to the stage of independence, because the old colonial leadership or its vestiges have always been there in the background. This means that whoever ruled never instilled it in the people to think for themselves in terms of self-advancement or nation-building. The conclusion to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a rousing call to action, with the call for brothers and comrades to turn away from Europe and her ways and to find their own path to progress.

The main weakness in Africa is that we are always playing catch-up to developed nations or spend most of our time busy trying to emulate European or other ways economically and culturally. This means that we never find our own feet and in the process become oblivious to the realities on the ground around us. With this type of viewpoint, it means that we shall never get to the point where we stop being the burden or the protégé of someone other than relying on the lessons in the lives of the citizens in the country where we live.
It is frustrating to see the type of leadership where there is haggling for votes instead of discussions on how we can progress as a country and a state. It is frustrating to be told how so and so seen on an international trip does their thing when it comes to social and economic development. It is even sadder when untested programmes and strategies are imposed on the people of the land on the basis of their being successful elsewhere.

The talk about transformation in this country borrows its standards from somewhere instead of being developed to maturity locally.
This is one of the main reasons why they fail, because they do not answer the basic needs of the local indigenous people. There can be no hope for transformation if it comes in the form of impositions. The simple logic of it all is that it needs to be familiar before it can be adopted, it has to be relevant before it can be applied. Forcing change on the citizens will never wash, because what is imposed may not often be the basic need of the people on the ground. Ensconced in Maseru and guaranteed a lavish lunch and other amenities means that the elected representative loses touch with those that elected him into government. That many of them only go home at election time is a truth we cannot deny, it is a fact we should address and change if we can.

Lesotho is in my eyes an individual that sees the world progress and instead of doing it relies on aid and the vague hope that the state will be like all those other states delegates have been to. The truth of the matter is that it took blood sweat and tears for those cities to be filled with skyscrapers, it will equally take tremendous effort to see Lesotho get out of the mire of political stagnancy. We may need a revolution of sorts to see the kingdom get to the level where the venerable Morena Leabua Jonathan wished the country to be. The present batch of political figures seems only there to wrangle for the highest seat in government and not the needs of the people. For those that hold a view to the contrary, the question lies with the large number of political parties in such a small state.
Each party comes with its own cultures and subcultures, and this automatically means that we are bound to be a people with a million cultures that clash. In this instance, we shall never see progress as we wish to see it. What we shall remain with are the million empty political promises that find the state in the dire straits it now is. We cannot hope to transform only at the behest of political leadership. We cannot transform patiently, it would be similar to watching paint dry. We need to revolt in different ways to force the political leadership to change their self-interested perspective on how the country can be aided forward into the type of progress that benefits everyone.

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An open letter to President Hichilema

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Your Excellency,

I am certain that you are wondering where and/or how I have the temerity to write to you directly, but a recent post you put on WhatsApp piqued my interest; your meeting with His Excellency the Prime Minister of Lesotho, and his delegation. The delegation came to introduce to you and your good office the candidate of the Government of Lesotho, for the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Joshua Setipa.

Let me set off by stating that I have a friendship with Setipa, for over 50 years, so I may not be the best person to give an objective appraisal or opinion of him; this I will leave to the government.

Further to that, as a citizen of Lesotho, I may embellish the information that I would provide on Lesotho, thus I will as far as possible keep to information that is contained in books. This is not a research report, but more a simplified literature review of what I have read. I shall not quote them, or reference them, thus allowing others the space to research this matter further.

First, let me state my surprise at the alignment of time that I see; Commonwealth Day in 2024 is on the 11th March, the day we celebrate a life well lived, that of Morena Moshoeshoe.

Further to that, this year also starts the 200th anniversary of the move by Morena Moshoeshoe and his followers from Menkhoaneng to Thaba Bosiu. They arrived at Thaba Bosiu in winter, circa 1824.

Next year, 2025 will also be the 100th anniversary of the ‘plenary’ that saw the birth of this Commonwealth of Nations. A handover from the bi-centenary, to the centenary celebrations.

We are all aware that the Commonwealth was started at the Imperial Conference of 1926, but it had what I call a plenary in 1925; this happened in Maseru, Basutoland. It was held at the ‘secretariat’ building on Kingsway. The building was used as the Prime Ministers’ office after independence, more recently, and to date as the Ministry of Defence.

When King George came to visit Lesotho in 1948, to thank the country and her citizens for their participation in the Second World War, High street as it was then known, had its name changed to Kingsway.

At this plenary Britain called the ANZaC states, Australia, New Zeeland and Canada, together with South Africa. It had been only 13 years (1912) since the Basotho monarch had been asked to attend the formation of the South African National Native Conference (SANNC), whose aim was to preserve African land. The SANNC was the forerunner to the African National Congress (ANC).

With the formation of the Union of South Africa, the union wanted to engulf Bechuanaland (Botswana) Swaziland (eSwatini) and Basutoland (Lesotho). This had been unsuccessful.

Next they came up with the Native Land Act of 1913, to remove African land rights. So, the conference that brought about the birth of the SANNC was a pre-emptive response to this act; an attempt to keep African land rights and traditions intact.

I would like to point out that the founding document of the Imperial Conference that brought about the Commonwealth states that all member states are autonomous and not subordinate to another.

At the time of the plenary, Basutoland was subordinate to Britain. But in a masterstoke became what I believe to be one of the founders of the Commonwealth.

Despite her subordination, Basutoland had placed so strong an objection to the presence of a representative South Africa in Basutoland, that South Africa’s invitation had to be withdrawn, and South Africa did not attend. This was the first ‘anti-apartheid’ shot, made in the world; what is more important is that it was made by an African country.

No matter how one looks at it, she may not have been a ‘founding member state’, but Basutoland was part of the founding fabric of the Commonwealth.

One just has to imagine the anger of the South Africans and their government: Dr. D. F. Malan, the first Nationalist Prime Minister of South Africa, was a minister responsible for housing at that time.

Had Basutoland’s lead been followed, spatial apartheid might never have happened. The Commonwealth would take till the 1960’s, and the formal legalisation/legislation of apartheid to remove South Africa from within her fold. A matter that Basutoland saw as far back as the 1920’s.

As shown, at the conceptualisation of the Commonwealth Lesotho was not just there, but an active and formidable participant; though one has to look further to see her relationship with Great Britain/the United Kingdom.

Basutoland/Lesotho’s history is strange, to say the least. The first Europeans to arrive here in 1833, were French Missionaries. At this time Europe was embroiled in wars, which inevitably included the French and English.

But it is these same priests, most notably Casalis, who helped steer the country to Britain, and British protection. Casalis acted almost as a foreign secretary/minister of foreign affairs at that time.

The first treaty between Basutoland and England was the Napier Treaty of 1843, though it took till 1866 to solidify this treaty into a protected land.

The history of the cavalry in Lesotho, the only African cavalry south of the Sahara, is quite long. It starts in about 1825, when F. D. Ellenberger in his book ‘History of the Basutho’, states that Morena Moletsane had come across gun powder quite by mistake.

They had been raiding a missionary’s home and came across a strange powder, which they found useless, so they threw it into a fire, which ‘exploded’. Thus, to his people called European style housing, ‘Ntlo-ea-thunya’, a house that shoots. But after having his people ravaged/savaged by Mzilikazi, he sent his best warriors to work on Boer farms, and with their remuneration purchase arms and horses.

We are often told of a ‘battle of/at Berea’. My answer is that it was not a battle but a cattle raid. Its importance is not just in the battle, but in democracy. The British called Morena Moshoeshoe ‘paramount chief’, a first amongst the others. The time before Berea shows something slightly different.

As Casalis writes in ‘My life in Basutoland’, the British had demanded 10,000 head of cattle, for stock theft. A great ‘pitso’ was called and all eligible men, those who owned land, were called.

At the end of the pitso, after many votes, the citizens refused to give their cattle to pay the demand of the British. The significance herein is that there was a plebiscite, a vote. Morena Moshoeshoe lost the backing of the people and thus the vote; the British then attacked to ‘collect’ the cattle themselves.

Both Morena Moshoeshoe and Morena Moletsane were heavily involved in the ‘battle’ which was won by the strength of the Basutho cavalry. Looking forward to the gun wars, it was most fortuitous that Morena Moshoeshoe’s ally, Morena Moletsane would outlive him, till the end of the gun wars.

After annexation in 1866, in the mid 1870’s the British, citing distance and as such expense, ceded Basutoland to the Cape, which was what the Basotho had been fighting against for a long time; they wanted direct British rule. They wanted to be ruled by Mofumahali Queen Victoria.

The first, and most critical mistake that the Cape made was, not so much in attacking Morena Moorosi, accusing his son of cattle theft, but in beheading him.

So, when some years later they wanted to disarm the Basutho, and they found those of the south of Basutoland who knew of the beheading, reluctant to go with the plan. The Cape decided to go ahead with disarmament forcefully and met equal if not greater force.

The Basutho were better armed, more knowledgeable on the terrain and better supplied. Helped by his father’s long-standing ally, Morena Moletsane, Morena Lerotholi was able to field a well-armed strong cavalry, which inflict great pain to the Cape.

This led to the Cape defeat. Together with the number of other wars that the Cape was fighting, there was fight fatigue among her people.

So bad was it, that they did not come and collect their fallen troops; in Mafeteng there is a cemetery called ‘mabitla-a-makhooa’, or graves of the white men. The SA Military History Society has a ‘roll of honour’ for some of the dead, as not all were buried in Basutoland.

There are two significant outcomes of the war. In his book ‘The Mabille’s of Basutoland’, Edwin W. Smith states that there was a fact-finding mission to Basutoland by members of the Cape parliament, including Rhodes. Their conclusion was that the Basutho should be handed back to Britain for direct rule; which was the original wish of the Basutho.

As Whitehall was reluctant to take this role back, Basutoland spent a period of close to two years of self-rule. Thus it became the first African country (only?) to unshackle itself of colonial rule. And became the first African country to get the colonial rule it wanted; and re-shackled itself to Britain.

The second is how Britain agreed to go back and rule Basutoland. In his book, Rhodes Goes North, J. E. S. Green shows how the Prime Minister of the Cape went to Britain to sue for peace, and eventually agreed to give Britain 20 000 pounds per annum, of her import tax revenues to govern Basutoland.

Whilst not a founding member of the Commonwealth, Basutoland has carried her fair weight in the battle to save both the Commonwealth, and together the rest of the Commonwealth, the world at large.

Whilst SA will hype the losses during the maritime accident of the SS Mendi in the English Channel, Lesotho is less inclined to speak of the losses on the SS Erinpura. The Erinpura was sunk by German war planes in the Mediterranean Sea. Though I should say that, the prayer of the men on the Mendi would resound so well with those who lost their lives on the Erinpura.

When British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill said; never was so much owed by so many to so few, I am certain he was speaking not just of the people of the British Isles, but the broader community within the Commonwealth, that stood together at this time of international need.

But having heard Sir Winston, there is a special bond of Basutoland within, and with the Commonwealth, that I would like to highlight. Apart from the ANZaC countries and South Africa, there were no air squadrons from other Commonwealth countries that I am aware of; except for Basutoland that is.

They paid for 12 or so Spitfire aircraft that would form the 72nd Basutoland, which flew in the Battle of Britain. No moSotho actually flew (in?) them, but they had been financed by the Basotho.

For all the prowess of a moSotho man with arms, in his book ‘Basotho Soldiers in Hitler’s War’, Brian Gary not only writes about the gift of aircraft that fought in the Battle of Britain, he also shows that Basotho soldiers, who were hauling various ordinances through the Italian Alps, were allowed to carry arms.

Aircraft and carrying arms for an African in World War II; Lesotho is not just a pioneer member of the Commonwealth, but a beacon.

As Lesotho many of these pioneering attributes continued. Whist South Africa was banned from sports and entertainment, Lesotho filled the gap for her. Exiles like Hugh Masekela and Mirriam Makeba were hosted for sell out concerts in Lesotho. South African interracial sports, with matches between the likes of Orlando Pirate, Wits University, Kaiser Chiefs, to name those I remember, started in Maseru.

I have touched on politics and war, sport and entertainment; let me go to superstition. It would go against what is expected of me not to go without anything superstitious.

Britain has given the world three major sporting codes. Rugby, which is dominated by the big three of New Zeeland and South Africa. Cricket, which expands from the rugby three to include India, Pakistan, most of the Caribbean states and a few African counties.

These sports are obviously ‘Commonwealth Sports’, as they are dominated, or played predominantly by Commonwealth countries. They have also given us football. This is a truly global sport, the largest sport played across the world, on all types of surfaces, with all types of round looking objects. We can’t call all of these footballs.

The last time a Commonwealth country won the World Cup it was England in 1966; the year Lesotho gained her independence.

The next World Cup is in 2026, the millennium celebrations of the Commonwealth; who will head the Commonwealth then? Will a Commonwealth team have the necessary ‘juju’ to make it?

Your Excellency, this is but a brief note on Lesotho, and it is my way of using the words attributed to Morena Moshoeshoe, when asking for protection from Queen Victoria that say; take me, and all the lice (those that are symbiotic to me) in my blanket. I do hope that these words will be of use to you as seek consensus on Lesotho and her candidate for the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

Yours truly

Khasane Ramolefe

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Insight

Culture quibbles

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A few weeks ago these pages carried a substantial piece by Mokhosi Mohapi titled “A reversal of our traditions and culture”, written in the form of an open letter to the government of Lesotho. The first sentence of Mohapi’s article took me by surprise, as he stated: MPs and Senators’ primary role is to protect and preserve the traditions and culture of the Basotho people. I would have thought the primary role of MPs and Senators would be to ensure that Basotho are secure (being protected, for example, from criminals), that they have adequate access to social services such as education and healthcare, that the economy is sufficiently stable to offer citizens some chance of employment, and so on. Fat chance, you might scoff.

But then I realised that Mohapi had a more specific contention in mind, as he stated: The Laws of Lerotholi were set to protect social order, traditions and culture of Basotho. Mohapi’s immediate concern is with the 2024 Estates and Inheritance Bill, which proposes radical changes to the existing order of things. (See the article in last week’s thepost, “MPs bulldoze through Inheritance Bill”, which gives a good idea of the background).

I’m aware that this Bill has provoked considerable controversy, and that is not my topic in this article. Nor do I wish to contest what Mohapi was saying in his piece — this is by no means a case of Dunton v Mohapi. But I did take note of the way the phrase “traditions and culture” kept resounding in Mohapi’s article, rather like a cracked bell, and what I want to do is open up those terms for examination.

Please bear with me as I slip aside for a moment with a little academic stuff. Back in 2006 I published an article titled “Problematizing Keywords: Culture, tradition and modernity.” For those of my readers with a scholarly bent and who might want to hunt it down, this was published in a journal called Boleswa Occasional Papers in Theology and Religion 2:3 (2006), pages 5-11. There I made a number of points I want to bring up in what follows.

The first fallacy I tackled in that article was the tradition/modernity binary — the notion that in Africa there was tradition and then, wham!, the white man arrived and there was modernity. Are we seriously to believe there were no great cities in Africa before the white man landed, that the peoples of a whole continent lived entirely in villages? Nigeria tells a different story.

Are we to believe there were no great libraries? Mali and Ethiopia tell a different tale. No writing systems? No medicine? I’m not saying that if I’m in pain I don’t prefer a dose of oramorph to an infusion made from some leaves picked off the slopes of Thaba Bosiu, but the point remains: the tradition/modernity binary is crude and crass and it’s demeaning about Africa.

We cannot get very far with simplistic ideas about where we are coming from and where we are at. And yet of course we do come from a past. I’ll quote — or, rather, paraphrase from memory, as I don’t have the work to hand — an observation made by T.S Eliot in his essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent”: We know so much more than those who came before us. But they are a large part of what we know.

But of those who came before who is it, exactly, that we know? When Mohapi repeatedly uses the phrase “the traditions and culture of the Basotho people” I take it he is thinking of the Basotho as constituted under Moshoeshoe I and the descendants of those generations.

For how much do we know about the “traditions and culture” of the various Sotho-speaking groups let’s say two hundred years before Moshoeshoe gathered them together to form the modern Lesotho state? Isn’t it likely there were significant differences between the “traditions and culture” of these groups, differences that were later rationalised or homogenised?

Two points here. First, we mustn’t forget what an extraordinary innovator Moshoeshoe was —and I guess that might be said also of Lerotholi, whose laws are the chief focus of Mohapi’s article. Second, culture is not static, it is not immutable. It evolves all the time.

For example, for how long has it been the case that adherence to the Christian faith could be said to be part of the culture of Basotho? (Or, for how long has football been part of the culture of the English? We are credited with the invention of football, but that doesn’t mean it’s been part of who we are since time immemorial).

That brings me to my next point, or a string of points, moving from England back to Lesotho. When I was a schoolboy I bought myself a copy of the book Components of the National Culture (1968) by the great British Marxist Perry Anderson. One of my schoolmasters — one of the few who didn’t like me — caught me with it and said “just the sort of book I’d expect a troublemaker like you to be reading. Just don’t show it to anyone else!”

The significant term in Anderson’s title is “components.” Culture is put together — it is an assemblage — and its components may have different sources.
That leads me on to the invention of tradition, and an example for Basotho.

I guess all my readers know Qiloane, the sandstone pillar at Thaba Bosiu the distinctive peak of which is said to be the inspiration for the shape of the traditional Basotho straw hat. Well, that notion is dubious to say the least; there were hats of the same shape from elsewhere in the region long before the Basotho got hold of the design.

Does this really matter? Well, no, because even if a tradition is invented, it still has the persuasiveness of a tradition. It’s just that knowing this might dissuade us from making big claims about the unchangeable nature and sanctity of tradition.

And the same goes for culture. I leave you with a quotation from the Ghanaian philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah (it’s from his terrific book Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers): We do not need, have never needed, a homogenous system of values, in order to have a home. Cultural purity is an oxymoron.

Chris Dunton is a former Professor of English and Dean of Humanities at the National University of Lesotho.

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Insight

The Joker Returns: Conclusion

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Last week I was talking about how jokes, or humour generally, can help get one through the most desperate situations (although it’s like taking a paracetamol for a headache; a much, much stronger resort is faith). I used the example of how Polish Jews, trapped and dying in the Warsaw ghetto, used humour to get them through day by day.

A similar, though less nightmarish, situation obtains in today’s Nigeria. Conditions there are less hellish than those of the Warsaw ghetto, but still pretty awful. There are massive redundancies, so millions of people are jobless. Inflation is at about 30% and the cost of living is sky-rocketing, with the most basic foodstuffs often unavailable. There is the breakdown of basic social services.

And endemic violence, with widespread armed robbery (to travel by road from one city to another you take your life in your hands) and the frequent kidnapping for ransom of schoolchildren and teachers. In a recent issue of the Punch newspaper (Lagos) Taiwo Obindo, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Jos, writes of the effects of economic hardship and insecurity on his people’s mental health.

He concludes: “We should see the funny side of things. We can use humour to handle some things. Don’t take things to heart; laugh it off.”

Professor Obindo doesn’t, regrettably, give examples of the humour he prescribes, but I remember two from a period when things were less grim. Power-cuts happened all the time — a big problem if you’re trying to work at night and can’t afford a generator.

And so the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was universally referred to as Never Expect Power Always. And second, for inter-city travel there was a company called Luxurious Buses. Believe me, the average Lesotho kombi is a great deal more luxurious (I can’t remember ever having to sit on the floor of one of those).

And because of the dreadful state of Nigerian roads and the frequent fatal crashes, Luxurious Buses were referred to as Luxurious Hearses.

Lesotho’s newspaper thepost, for which I slave away tirelessly, doesn’t use humour very much. But there is Muckraker. I’ve always wondered whether Muckraker is the pen-name of a single person or a group who alternate writing the column.

Whatever, I’d love to have a drink with him / her/ them and chew things over. I like the ironic pen-name of the author(s). Traditionally speaking, a muckraker is a gossip, someone who scrabbles around for titbits (usually sexual) on the personal life of a celebrity — not exactly a noble thing to do.

But thepost’s Muckraker exposes big problems, deep demerits, conducted by those who should know and do better — problems that the powerful would like to be swept under the carpet, and the intention of Muckraker’s exposure is corrective.

And I always join in the closing exasperated “Ichuuuu!” (as I do this rather loudly, my housemates probably think I’m going bonkers).

Finally I want to mention television satire. The Brits are renowned for this, an achievement dating back to the early 1960s and the weekly satirical programme “TW3” (That Was The Week That Was). More recently we have had “Mock the Week”, though, despite its popularity, the BBC has cancelled this.

The cancellation wasn’t for political reasons. For decades the UK has been encumbered with a foul Conservative government, though this year’s election may be won by Labour (not such very good news, as the Labour leadership is only pseudo-socialist). “Mock the Week” was pretty even-handed in deriding politicians; the BBC’s problem was, I imagine, with the programme’s frequent obscenity.

As an example of their political jokes, I quote a discussion on the less than inspiring leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer. One member of the panel said: “Labour may well have a huge lead in the polls at present, but the day before election day Starmer will destroy it by doing something like accidentally infecting David Attenborough with chicken-pox.”

And a favourite, basically non-political interchange on “Mock the Week” had to do with our former monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Whatever one thinks about the British monarchy as an institution, the Queen was much loved, but the following interchange between two panellists (A and B) was fun:

A: Is the Queen’s nickname really Lilibet?
B: Yes, it is.
A: I thought her nickname was Her Majesty.
B: That’s her gang name.

OK, dear readers, that’s enough humour from me for a while. Next week I’m turning dead serious — and more than a little controversial — responding to a recent Insight piece by Mokhosi Mohapi titled “A reversal of our traditions and culture.” To be forewarned is to be prepared.

Chris Dunton

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