True lead­er­ship needed now

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IT has al­ways been and still is a plea­sure to read your pub­li­ca­tion with keen in­ter­est when it tack­les so­cial and com­mu­nity is­sues.

How­ever, it pains me when core is­sues, both po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic, are be­ing brushed aside.

It is a known fact that a pub­li­ca­tion’s scope of cov­er­age in terms of con­tent is dic­tated by the ed­i­to­rial pol­icy which is re­flected es­pe­cially dur­ing na­tional elec­tions.

Nat­u­rally, I have be­come not only a reg­u­lar reader but also a fan of your news­pa­per. If you have some­where on your web­site I could click “like”, I would gladly do so a thou­sand times.

In many re­spects I would not have any cause to ques­tion your au­thor­ity on the sub­ject that you tackle week in and week out — from ram­pant mis­man­age­ment in lo­cal gov­ern­ment to down­right cor­rup­tion at the high­est level of gov­ern­ment.

My heart­felt topic for this month is the ap­point­ment of coun­cil of­fice bear­ers.

It is my con­cern as a cit­i­zen of Le­sotho to un­der­stand the cri­te­ria used in the ap­point­ments as well as the checks and bal­ances used in the process.

I am rais­ing this ques­tion be­cause of what is tak­ing place in our coun­try’s dis­tricts.

We need coun­cils that will al­ways adopt an in­clu­sive ap­proach when mak­ing de­ci­sions. They also need to have a back­bone to re­sist be­ing dic­tated to by cen­tral gov­ern­ment in Maseru and refuse to be mi­cro man­aged.

Such a coun­cil is what is needed in Le­sotho’s dis­tricts in this day and age.

I ap­peal to ev­ery voter to care­fully ap­point or nom­i­nate the of­fice bear­ers who rep­re­sent the will of the peo­ple.

We should op­pose ca­reerists, ten­der process rig­gers and those en­gaged in nepo­tism as well as ex­pos­ing cor­rupt and inept of­fi­cers.

Com­mon sense dic­tates that not all of us can be­come lead­ers. How­ever, lead­ers need sup­port from the peo­ple they lead.

I ap­plaud the late for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Le­abua Jonathan. He was not a small can­dle to me, and those who have faith in him as a true leader, but a bright flame whose ideals we need to keep hold of for the fu­ture Le­sotho.

My quest is to make his flame burn as brightly as pos­si­ble be­fore hand­ing it to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

I urge the me­dia to adopt an in­clu­sive ap­proach when deal­ing with na­tional is­sues, more es­pe­cially dur­ing elec­tions. I urge all of us to stop be­ing jeal­ous of each other’s achieve­ments but in­stead rally behind our cho­sen leader Tau Mo­lapo.

Re­mem­ber Dr Jonathan brought about job cre­ation, ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties and agri­cul­ture, among other ini­tia­tives through the Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP), but many haters choose to ig­nore this.

Let us unite and take our beloved or­gan­i­sa­tion of Ba­sotho, the BNP and its leader, to a higher level. I en­dorse Chief Th­e­sele ‘ Maserib­ane’s lead­er­ship.

How is it that a two words con­cept like “eco­nomic free­dom” can mean po­lar op­po­sites to dif­fer­ent peo­ple; eco­nomic free­dom in the sense of free­dom from gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion in the sense that I un­der­stand them, poverty, and the vi­o­la­tion of the rights of in­di­vid­u­als in the sense that the BNPYL ap­pears to un­der­stand them. We turn to the fa­tal con­ceit: The er­rors of so­cial­ism by known as David Twala but real names David Tau Mo­lapo, for an an­swer to this puz­zling ques­tion.

I quote from Con­fu­cius who said: “When words lose their mean­ing peo­ple will lose their lib­erty.” Ob­vi­ously, this mat­ter is not to be treated lightly.

Dr Jonathan wasn’t a mes­siah, but an or­di­nary man who had be­come a leader be­cause of ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances, one can’t deny that his hu­mil­ity is just another at­tribute that makes him the role model he was.

The BNP must keep its prom­ises — I fully agree with the BNPYL sec­ond tran­si­tion doc­u­ment. Ac­cord­ing to my un­der­stand­ing, it sim­ply means all Ba­sotho in Le­sotho will ben­e­fit equally from the econ­omy. I would be very happy if it was im­ple­mented, as po­lit­i­cal power means noth­ing with­out eco­nomic power. The time has come for the wealth of our coun­try to be dis­trib­uted equally.

It is true that most peo­ple would like bet­ter wealth, how­ever when we link ed­u­ca­tion with money we are los­ing fo­cus.

Ed­u­ca­tion is about pass­ing knowl­edge from one gen­er­a­tion to the other with an eye for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment. We should con­tinue to en­cour­age peo­ple to get ed­u­cated.

It should not be for the pur­pose of gain­ing wealth, how­ever, but to plough back to the com­mu­nity by play­ing a lead­ing role in de­vel­op­ment and this can be at­tained when we be­come ed­u­cated. The im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion can­not be overem­pha­sized. Whether young or old, ed­u­ca­tion is the key.

But nar­row trib­al­ism is rear­ing its head. Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane and other par­ties are tak­ing our coun­try back­wards. What is he do­ing for the peo­ple of HaAbia in his con­stituency? Noth­ing. What is he do­ing for the peo­ple in the ru­ral ar­eas?

Look­ing back to the ori­gins of the BNP, we re­call that one of the prin­ci­pal au­thors of the Ba­sotho claims, Dr Jonathan, was al­ready an­nounc­ing a vi­sion of hu­man dig­nity, non-racial­ism and na­tional unity. The de­mon of racial­ism must be buried and for­got­ten. It has shed among us suf­fi­cient blood! We are one peo­ple.

These di­vi­sions and jeal­ousies are the cause of all our woes and back­ward­ness today. All po­lit­i­cal par­ties must just swal­low their pride and ac­knowl­edge the fact that nepo­tism and cadre de­ploy­ment is tak­ing Le­sotho back­wards.

It’s time de­serv­ing peo­ple got jobs and in­com­pe­tent com­rades were booted out. Some­one must be held re­spon­si­ble and proper steps must be taken against those who are to blame.

The BNP is ex­pected to ex­plain to the na­tion why the lives of or­di­nary Ba­sotho have not im­proved for the past years since my late brother died.

My mis­sion is to build em­pire that will pave the way for thou­sands of black pro­fes­sion­als who will con­tinue to keep the torch burn­ing brightly for gen­er­a­tions to come.

I un­der­stand that great­ness is never a given. It must be earned. Our jour­ney has never been one of short­cuts or set­tling for less. It has not been the path for the faint­hearted.

Rather, it has been the risk­tak­ers, the do­ers, the mak­ers of things- some cel­e­brated but more of­ten men and women ob­scure in their labour, who have car­ried us up the long, rugged path to­wards pros­per­ity and free­dom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly pos­ses­sions and trav­elled across search­ing on a new life. For us, they toiled in sweat­shops and set­tled the south; en­dured the lash of the whip and ploughed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, even lost my grand­fa­ther in war for Ba­sotho Land. One of the great­est lelapa la bore­neng fought for Ba­sotho. Time and again these men, and women strug­gled and sac­ri­ficed and worked till their hands were­b­lis­tered so that we might live a bet­ter life.

It is for the gen­er­a­tion of today to de­fend what Le­abua Jonathan of the BNP fought for today’s youth should re­mem­ber that the youth of 1959 fought for a non-racial, non­sex­i­est, united, pros­per­ous Ba­sotho Land.

David Tau Mo­lapo

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