Chance for new govt to do some good

Lesotho Times - - Leader -

PRIME min­is­ter-elect Pakalitha mo­sisili’s re­marks else­where in this edi­tion are cause for op­ti­mism. The Demo­cratic Congress leader said he had learnt from the mis­takes made by the coali­tion gov­ern­ment led by out­go­ing Prime min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane dur­ing his time in op­po­si­tion.

Dr mo­sisili said af­ter watch­ing the out­go­ing gov­ern­ment fal­ter af­ter serv­ing only two of its five-year term, he would en­sure the in­com­ing seven-party coali­tion did not suf­fer the same fate.

Chief among the mis­takes he high­lighted was the out­go­ing gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to abide by the tenets of their coali­tion agree­ment with Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader and Deputy Prime min­is­ter mo­thetjoa mets­ing com­plain­ing time and again about Dr Tha­bane mak­ing uni­lat­eral de­ci­sions on is­sues with a bear­ing on gov­er­nance.

He said trust and re­spect would be the core el­e­ments of his gov­ern­ment, adding that he would work to re­store sta­bil­ity in the se­cu­rity sec­tor.

In­deed Le­sotho needs sta­bil­ity and to make world head­lines for the wrong rea­sons. Dr mo­sisili will need to rise above par­ti­san in­ter­ests to bring an end to the po­lit­i­cal po­lar­i­sa­tion that has brought this na­tion to a grid­lock.

In some cases, he will need to show as­sertive lead­er­ship. For in­stance Dr mo­sisili will have to rein in some within the in­com­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment’s ranks who have promised ret­ri­bu­tion against their per­ceived enemies.

If Le­sotho is to at­tain some mod­icum of nor­malcy, the in­com­ing gov­ern­ment will need to set a pos­i­tive tone and not be the cause of the prob­lems it­self.

The new ad­min­is­tra­tion needs to reach out to friends and foes alike to show that gov­ern­ment is not about cer­tain po­lit­i­cal par­ties, but for the na­tion as a whole. only then can the much-needed na­tional heal­ing process begin.

on the is­sue of com­bat­ing cor­rup­tion, the new gov­ern­ment has a lot to prove since Dr mo­sisili has, in the past, been ac­cused of watch­ing idly by while per­pe­tra­tors stole from the gov­ern­ment purse with im­punity.

We com­mend the in­com­ing pre­mier for com­mit­ting to equip the Di­rec­torate on Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic of­fences so it can ful­fil its man­date.

While it is com­mon cause that cor­rup­tion can never be com­pletely elim­i­nated from a so­ci­ety, coun­tries with ef­fec­tive cor­rup­tion bust­ing agen­cies which are able to com­bat it, have bet­ter eco­nomic prospects than those who ig­nore it.

Cor­rup­tion lev­els in any na­tion are now one of the key in­di­ca­tors to gauge in­vestor in­ter­est of which Le­sotho sorely needs.

An­other is­sue which should seize the in­com­ing gov­ern­ment is Le­sotho’s fail­ure to con­tain the spread of HIV/ AIDS, whose 23 per­cent preva­lence rate has earned the na­tion the ig­no­ble ac­co­lade of hav­ing the sec­ond-high­est preva­lence rate in the world af­ter Swazi­land.

As Dr mo­sisili de­lib­er­ates on his cabi­net ap­point­ments, it would be pru­dent to hire a com­pe­tent and qual­i­fied min­is­ter in the health port­fo­lio to ar­rest this alarm­ing trend. Gov­ern­ment needs to take the lead in the fight against the pan­demic by com­ing up with va­ri­ety of ap­proaches in con­junc­tion with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional part­ners.

Not least among this na­tion’s chal­lenges is the chronic poverty and un­der­de­vel­op­ment. This is also cou­pled with the dearth of ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture for Le­sotho’s two mil­lion cit­i­zens.

The new ad­min­is­tra­tion will need to stream­line the boom­ing gov­ern­ment spend­ing and de­vote more re­sources to not only in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment, but also so­cial needs.

more ef­fec­tive public spend­ing will be cru­cial to make the benefits of this coun­try’s re­sources trickle down to the peo­ple, which so far has not re­ally been the case.

With Le­sotho hav­ing lagged be­hind other coun­tries in the south­ern Africa re­gion eco­nom­i­cally, we also ex­pect the new gov­ern­ment to craft an industrial pol­icy to cre­ate the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions that sup­port pri­vate sec­tor growth.

This can be done by cut­ting down on gov­ern­ment bu­reau­cracy and reg­u­la­tion as well as ro­bustly ad­dress­ing the all too per­va­sive cor­rup­tion.

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