‘Tha­bane is a hyp­ocrite’

Lesotho Times - - Big Interview -

We took our peo­ple with spe­cial skills, in­clud­ing but not limited to for­mer prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries and our other peo­ple who are wellinformed with the phi­los­o­phy of our party and think­ing, and they came up with a very com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­ment which is thick and not user-friendly, and not us­able as a man­i­festo per se. It’s a pro­gramme of ac­tion which we have ap­proved at Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee level.

Now out of it, we teased 13 points for ease of ref­er­ence and for user friend­li­ness, so that you could sit down and read it for over 10 to 15 min­utes and have a rough idea of what we, the DC, plan to do for the coun­try.

We have two im­por­tant rea­sons why we did this – first that the doc­u­ment should be user­friendly and not too time-con­sum­ing.

se­condly, that we have not in­cluded in that sim­pler doc­u­ment ev­ery­thing that we in­tend to do.

We would rather not say what we are go­ing to do than say we are go­ing to do some­thing and not do it.

so the other par­ties, be­cause they knew they were not go­ing to win the elec­tions in 2012, made un­re­al­is­tic prom­ises which they hoped that if the DC had won, they would come back and say we had promised to do A,B,C and D but this coali­tion gov­ern­ment (of the all Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion, Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy and Ba­sotho Na­tional Party) is not do­ing it.

To their sur­prise and shock, they found them­selves in gov­ern­ment. so the wild prom­ises that they made, they couldn’t live up to.

as the DC, we are dif­fer­ent to them in that we al­ways have hope of win­ning an elec­tion and be­com­ing gov­ern­ment by our­selves.

That is why we don’t want to raise the ex­pec­ta­tions of the elec­torate beyond what we can do. so we have sum­marised what we hope and in­tend to do and just gave promi­nence to the 13 points.

LT: after your lead­er­ship had been in gov­ern­ment for quite some time, for in­stance your leader Dr Mo­sisili was prime min­is­ter for 15 years, you still failed to win an out­right majority to re­main in power after the 26 May 2012 poll.

That paved the way for the ABC, LCD and BNP al­liance and the end of Dr Mo­sisili’s rule. What have you learnt from this fail­ure?

Moleleki: I don’t think we have par­tic­u­larly pin-pointed some­thing that we did not do right. on the con­trary, we did ev­ery­thing right, but maybe not fast enough.

and be­cause of that, we are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the hol­i­day that we are hav­ing out­side of gov­ern­ment to put to­gether pro­grammes so that when, and I am not say­ing if, when we take back gov­ern­ment, we hit the ground run­ning.

so we are now busy putting to­gether pro­grammes of ac­tion. Yes, not just the plans on the doc­u­ment that I have re­ferred to, but even ac­tions on is­sues that we de­lib­er­ately keep un­der wraps so that we will spring a sur­prise on the pub­lic and our op­po­nents when we get into of­fice. We were sat­is­fied that we were do­ing things right.

so I can­not, in fair­ness to our­selves, say we have pin-pointed some­thing that we did wrong. We did things right.

and we are more deeply and pro­foundly con­vinced on the cor­rect­ness of the di­rec­tion which we have taken when now we view that against the back­drop of what is tak­ing place.

LT: Could you please elab­o­rate.

Moleleki: Gov­ern­ment had re­spectabil­ity. We worked hard to build good, sound prin­ci­ples of a demo­cratic so­ci­ety. Th­ese have all been torn apart now. They have been ruth­lessly at­tacked and torn to pieces. We have to go and put them back again.

The in­de­pen­dence of the three pil­lars of democ­racy have been at­tacked so ruth­lessly by this gov­ern­ment; by this prime min­is­ter (ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane).

It has to be re­stored to the peo­ple of Le­sotho. so, you will hear that word or phrases, namely restora­tion of demo­cratic prin­ci­ples; sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers; Latin House prin­ci­ples; that the Ju­di­ciary is not an­swer­able to the Ex­ec­u­tive, of­ten in our pro­grammes.

The Ju­di­ciary should not be an­swer­able to the Ex­ec­u­tive. Nei­ther should the Leg­is­la­ture. It is the Ex­ec­u­tive which has to be an­swer­able and ac­count­able to the Leg­is­la­ture. all of th­ese three pil­lars of democ­racy have been mer­ci­lessly at­tacked and de­stroyed by the prime min­is­ter.

There is no re­spectabil­ity, ac­cept­abil­ity, cred­i­bil­ity of the courts now as in­de­pen­dent dis­pensers of jus­tice.

The prime min­is­ter at­tacked the Court of ap­peal, he at­tacked the Chief Jus­tice, he at­tacked the courts, messed up ev­ery­thing and he messed up the Ex­ec­u­tive it­self. all of th­ese have got to be re­stored with de­ter­mi­na­tion and vigour. We had worked for 20 years to build th­ese pil­lars of democ­racy.

and somebody, in two years, has at­tacked and to­tally ru­ined them. It’s a shame be­cause he has taken us back 20 years.

and putting them to­gether; mak­ing sure that the peo­ple have belief that a judge can judge against the prime min­is­ter, if he or she finds so, it will take another 20 years for the peo­ple of Le­sotho to be­lieve that be­cause Ntate Tha­bane has just thrown it out through the win­dow.

LT: You once pre­dicted that this coali­tion gov­ern­ment would not last two years. What were you bas­ing your­self upon, be­cause this is what has tran­spired? In­stead of end­ing its ten­ure in 2017, the coali­tion has failed to last the dis­tance and Le­sotho finds it­self go­ing for an early poll.

Moleleki: We had re­alised that they only met to force us out of gov­ern­ment. But they did not have unity of vi­sion. and that is a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple.

But this gov­ern­ment col­lapsed not so much be­cause of lack of unity of vi­sion, but due to ar­ro­gance and the reck­less­ness of one man, the prime min­is­ter. He de­stroyed the coali­tion him­self.

and the worst thing is that it will take a long time for Ba­sotho to have their con­fi­dence back in any coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

Not un­til it can last for at least five years, and another one maybe last­ing another five years. and speak­ing of which, we of the DC, would rather we didn’t have an early elec­tion.

Not that we are scared of an elec­tion. If there is any­body in Le­sotho who is scared of an elec­tion, it is the ABC and the coali­tion part­ners. Not our­selves.

They came up with the idea, and maybe they were bluff­ing, say­ing rather than to re­call par­lia­ment (after it was sus­pended for nine months on 10 June 2014 by Dr Tha­bane who feared be­ing re­moved from power through a no-con­fi­dence vote), we should have a fresh elec­tion.

and then when they were taken up for the of­fer, they started to dil­ly­dally. They are scared for their lives.

LT: so why don’t you pre­fer an early elec­tion?

Moleleki: an elec­tion is too ex­pen­sive for a poor coun­try like Le­sotho. over M200 mil­lion would have been used to build a clinic or two, or a hos­pi­tal in a dis­trict, or a road. Now we are just go­ing to hire peo­ple, buy ma­te­rial and run a very ex­pen­sive elec­tion, over and above the at­tack on the pub­lic trea­sury that has been done by Ntate Tha­bane.

LT: What do you mean by that?

Moleleki: Tha­bane looted trea­sury. He at­tacked it. In many cases, se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials were hired in dou­ble or even triple in some cases; pay­ing somebody who was not in of­fice and somebody in of­fice; and two po­lice com­mis­sion­ers, two army com­man­ders, two Pss, two gov­ern­ment sec­re­taries, two this, two that and a much big­ger cab­i­net than we had when we were in power, first when we were the LCD be­fore we formed the DC (in Fe­bru­ary 2012). all of th­ese things are na­tional catas­tro­phes; dis­as­ters.

so the man is mer­ci­lessly loot­ing the pub­lic trea­sury. Se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials who are not oth­er­wise en­ti­tled to a whole con­voy of cars, in­clud­ing peo­ple he pur­ports to have in­stalled in cer­tain po­si­tions but which have not been ac­cepted.

Ntate Maa­parankoe Ma­hao (who was ap­pointed Le­sotho De­fence Force com­man­der in au­gust this year but has not en­tered any bar­racks after the man he was sup­posed to re­placed, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli re­fused to va­cate the post ar­gu­ing his dis­missal was un-pro­ce­dural) is a case in point.

Don’t for­get Ntate Tha­bane fought Ntate Mo­sisili while the lat­ter only used three cars for his con­voy as the then prime min­is­ter. all this is a ruth­less at­tack on the poor trea­sury.

He of­fi­cially abol­ished the of­fice of the First Lady and then it erupts with two First Ladies.

Ntate Tha­bane has paid M850, 000 for two years to his for­mer wife or to his cur­rent wife.

and then he is still run­ning around with another woman. so he has two First Ladies. so ev­ery­thing is in dou­ble if not triple un­der Tha­bane. The man is a hyp­ocrite.

LT: Do you ap­pre­ci­ate a coali­tion gov­ern­ment your­self?

Moleleki: Very much so. I do. Do I like it? No, I don’t. Em­phat­i­cally, I don’t. Do I ap­pre­ci­ate it? Yes. and there is a mis­con­cep­tion out there that we will never have a sin­gle party run­ning gov­ern­ment in fu­ture. That is not true.

Whether it will be the ABC or DC, but one day, one party will rule this coun­try.

We went to the 2012 elec­tion with a fresh split in mind. The DC had only been in ex­is­tence for three month when we went to the elec­tion. and our party is now grow­ing.

We might not be able to make gov­ern­ment alone, but we will be pretty close to it. But that is not to say that we will in­sist upon run­ning the gov­ern­ment alone even if we were to win 62 con­stituen­cies, which would be a majority.

We would still go into a coali­tion be­cause the peo­ple of Le­sotho have been re-po­larised.

Where they had re­mained with some har­mony, they were po­larised again. You can see Prin­ci­pal Chiefs now sup­port­ing the ABC and BNP. so the so­ci­etal split that has hap­pened now clearly calls for the congress to con­gre­gate to­gether.

LT: so in other words, you are say­ing that you are al­ready work­ing on form­ing a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with the LCD and other congress par­ties?

Moleleki: Cor­rect. and we are go­ing to col­lab­o­rate with them even if they don’t have mem­bers in par­lia­ment.

In po­si­tions that are po­lit­i­cally ap­pointed, we will give them some­thing. We de­clare that now. as congress par­ties, we are all pro-poor.

We are on the side of the poor. We were sep­a­rated by per­son­al­ity dif­fer­ences, but not the phi­los­o­phy. The plat­form is iden­ti­cal.

DC Deputy Leader Monyane Moleleki

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