What Majoro must do

What Majoro must do

The coalition government led by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane collapsed last week after some key coalition partners withdrew from the government on May 11, 2020. This brings to an end Thabane’s 35-month rule that brought so much political turbulence and economic misery.

As a nation we put a lot of pressure on Thabane to leave office. That was because Thabane promoted disastrous economic policies that ruined the lives of Basotho. For instance, his government’s policy on the red meat industry and the wool and mohair sector were a complete disaster.  
And when Thabane and his wife, ’Maesiah Thabane, were accused of murder, his position as Prime Minister became almost untenable.

On May 9, 2020 I had a fierce argument with my friend and brother Tšeliso Lesenya on Facebook. It started with his post that “in international relations we talk of a means to an end!” He was insinuating that the methodology of ousting Thabane justifies the means and the new coalition set up is the means to an end.

In response to his post I argued that if the new coalition is a means to an end, then I hope and pray that the end itself must be something else, something more noble than wealth creation for those in power.
Indeed, I can only pray and hope that the thinking of the new coalition as a means to an end does not suggest that the end is maintaining and creating jobs for the political elite, so that Ministers, MPs and PS’ can live meaningful and dignified lives while the masses of our people remain poor.
I am convinced that ministers in Thabane’s administration had no convictions. They did not have any principles or a school of thought that they subscribed to.

I hope and pray that the end shall be situation whereby the new coalition government led by Dr Majoro and Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu develops the private sector. This is important because it has been done in developed countries. Business is the driver of economic growth and innovation, and the new coalition government needs to take urgent action to boost enterprise, support green growth and build a new and more responsible economic model.

The new coalition government must create a fairer and more balanced economy, where we are not so dependent on a narrow range of economic sectors, and where new businesses and economic opportunities are more evenly shared between our districts and industries.
I hope and pray that the end shall be a radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government. I hope this end shall include a review of local government laws and policies. It is my prayer that we strengthen local government, the outcome being self governing districts.
There should be a district government for each of our ten districts, it should be made up of a district assembly and a district executive. The district government will be run by a District Governor, who shall be directly elected by the voters registered in the district. A revenue sharing model between the central government and district governments should be implemented.

It is common cause that our political system is broken. We urgently need fundamental political reform, including a referendum on a new constitution. I can only hope and pray that the end is change to our political system to make it far more transparent and accountable.
I hope and pray that through reforms the new coalition government will improve the civil service, and make it easier to reward the best civil servants and remove the least effective.

I hope and pray that the end shall result in investing more in our universities. I strongly believe that universities are essential for building a strong and innovative economy. The new coalition government must take action to strengthen institutions of higher learning such as National University of Lesotho, Lerotholi Polytechnic, Agric College and Lesotho College of Education.

There is a need also to create more college and university places, as well as help to foster stronger links between universities, colleges and industries. To be fair the Agric College is no longer meaningfully impacting the industry.

I will be the first to admit that we cannot characterise the new coalition as an ideological coalition.

That would not be quite right. This new coalition is historic because it brings two parties that have been fighting for decades to the same table. I know they will continue to have political differences, nevertheless, there is also common ground.
All these political parties forming the new coalition share a conviction that the days of big government, self enrichment, ill disciplined government officials, underdevelopment, weak economy, disempowerment of citizens, poor education, poverty, and unemployment are over.

I hope and pray that this new coalition government will not disappoint me. As a nation and as a people we have been led down and hurt deeply by those who promised us heaven on earth.

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu once proclaimed that “we don’t want Apartheid liberalized. We want it dismantled. You can’t improve something that is intrinsically evil.”

Just like Archbishop Tutu, I worked so hard against Thabane’s administration. I did not want his regime modernised. I wanted it demolished and changed completely. It is only a fool who believes one can improve something that is intrinsically evil. I know we have joined forces with political parties that were part of the failed coalition: All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) and I can only hope and pray that the individuals who contributed towards the failure of Thabane’s administration can have a change of heart.

In conclusion let me remind the new coalition government that it is yet to be tested whether this coalition has a special agenda to solve or it is a coalition of convenience. Coalitions of convenience tend not to have coherent policy agendas and tend to be divided from within. Whether they can frame policies and whether they can manage to put up a working cabinet are two separate but important issues that matter to a working coalition. Coalitions of convenience are likely be corrupt and spend more money than those that are ideological because everyone has got a hand in the pot.

I hope and pray that this new coalition government should have a coherent policy agenda and that they can get a lot of things done within this short time left before we go for elections in 2022, and that can only be done, when they stick together.
We owe it to our generation to liberate this perishing nation! Our generation is left with no option, but to act for today and for tomorrow. The truth is we want a viable economy that is more inclusive. Our message is simply this country has enough resources to become economically viable.

Ramahooana matlosa

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