My free advice to the LCD . . .
Thank God, six months have lapsed without a new political party being formed in Lesotho or without an existing party splintering into several other formations. This is surely a first for the Kingdom. Six months without a new political party in Lesotho? What is happening my fellow Basotho? I am trying to make sense of it all. Does this mean you have become weary of politics?
That surely can’t be as politics is every Mosotho’s best form of entrepreneurship. Could it be that we are now realizing the futility of having more political parties than actual voters? That can’t be either as most of us look to politics for survival? Or perhaps we are just taking a break from our routine politicking. Maybe. What happened to the multitudes of uncle/nephew political parties formed prior to the February 28 2015 snap polls including Mophato Monyake’s Progressive “Middle Finger to Voters” Democrats?
Perhaps the most probable reason why we have not seen new parties is that Ntate kamoli has scared most of us.
If the army commander has indeed succeeded in making opposition politicians an endangered species, resulting in the current lull in new political party formations, then Scrutator is glad to seize the opportunity to focus on those parties currently active on the political scene.
The once venerable Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and presumably the second biggest member of the current Pink Pakalitha and Pals Coalition is going to its conference, or congress or merely elective congress (whatever it’s called) in the first week of September in Mohale’s hoek.
Scrutator is informed the main objective of this jamboree is to elect a new national executive committee to fill all the ubiquitous vacancies left when auntie keketso Rantšo fell out with Ntate Metsing and went off to form the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL).
apparently auntie Rantšo, who is still in hibernation somewhere in our neighbouring land of Gold, where I am told she is sleeping under the bath tub because she remains in deep fear of Ntate kamoli, walked away with a sizeable chunk of the top brass of the LCD when she launched her Reformed Congress of Lesotho.
This left the reigns in the hands of the three musketeers; the man himself, Metsing (formerly Mr Marshmallow) as leader, the seeming gentleman Tšeliso Mokhosi as acting secretary-general and the indefatigable Selibe Mochoboroane as acting national spokesperson.
allow me to digress a bit and remark that I just so much love Ntate Mochoboroane’s last name. Let’s us assume Ntate Mochoboroane ends up in our version of the oval office as Prime Minister one day in the future. I cannot stop imagining how the Queen of England or any incumbent President of the United States would pronounce his surname during a welcoming speech at a state banquet if Lesotho is ever hosted by these countries.
I am sure every host of Ntate would device his own unique pronunciation of his very lovable but complex surname. Maybe Queen Elizabeth will prounce it as Mochhhhchchcho chiocho***ooocho**cho*boborooaaanee.
Barack Obama will struggle and prefer to call his counterpart “buddy”. To make things simple for his hosts, I would advice Ntate to shorten it to just Mocho. But that’s a story for another day. I will in the future address the whole issue of Basotho parents and their imagination (or lack thereof) when assigning names to their newly born.
The point here is that Bontate Metsing, Mokhosi and Mocho have been running the show in the LCD. It’s a good thing that the party is now convening a conference to elect a new leadership. But the elections will, of course, exclude the party leader Ntate Metsing who is expected to remain in his position until 2018 or maybe sometime thereafter.
It goes without saying that the LCD has been in what looks like some advanced form of terminal decline since Ntate Mosisili led that infamous walk out from the party of the great giant ntsu Mokhehle in 2012.
From winning 67 seats in the 80 constituencies in 2007, this figure whittled down to a paltry 15 in 2012 before going down to a derisory two in February 2015.
LCD MPS who lost in constituencies did so badly, mainly to candidates of Uncle Tom’s ABC. This is a record that should sent shivers down the spines of the leadership of the party. It calls for serious soul searching and introspection.
Where it not for the freeloading allowed by our complex mixed member electoral system, the LCD could have been down a hell hole.
The big question is: has the LCD been able to self-introspect and explain to itself why it fared so badly? If not, will the upcoming elective junket provide an opportunity for such self-examination so that the party adopts the right strategies and options for a resurgence?
What I have been seeing and hearing from the dwindling membership of the LCD is hardly encouraging.
Ever since this column began, it is now a matter of public record that Scrutator has been 100 percent right about all the predictions I have made in my analysis. I was right in predicting the outcome of the February 2015 polls. I was right in predicting what would happen if kamoli is reinstated?
I have been right on many things. So successful have been my predictions that some readers now confuse me to a witch doctor or fortune teller. The other day, some woman called me to ask me to tell her which other woman her husband was sleeping with.
I gladly informed her that I am not one of nicomanchean inclinations and my vocation is to analyse hard reality. But her call got me thinking that I must perhaps start contemplating charging for my advice rather than dishing out for free in this column.
My advise and criticism of all and sundry stems from my deep love for my country. I advise everybody who dares to listen. Those who have listened have prospered. Those who haven’t have imperilled themselves. So I will once again give the LCD advice in utmost good faith. What saddens me about the LCD thus far is that its leadership has not properly self-introspected and articulated why the party did badly in the February elections.
Remember that prior to the February 2015 elections, I advised Ntate Metsing about his many poor decisions that I saw costing the party most of its support.
For instance, I told Ntate Metsing that his decision to support litigation against our much loved king was counterproductive and would cost the LCD votes, I was ignored. I told Ntate Metsing that his launching of court action to avoid explaining to the relevant authorities how sizeable amounts of moolah seamlessly flowed into his bank accounts was bad as there was no way he could ever win such a case. I was ignored.
as predicted, his court case created a groundswell of opinion that he had something to hide. at the same time, Uncle Tom successfully exploited Ntate Metsing’s missteps to convince educated Basotho that his erstwhile then deputy was a liability. I gave Ntate Metsing a lot of advice but he ignored me.
It saddens me that his party now blames the media, me in particular, for its dismal performance.
It’s of course true that the media can make or break politicians and their parties. If it were not for the power of the media to make or break politicians, we could never ever heard of one Barack Obama.
It is us who communicate to the masses. Rallies are only ever attended by those who already support a particular party. There are not the best forms of recruiting new voters. But we don’t create the messages we communicate. They are created by the very politicians who want to rally votes. Of course we communicate our own analysis and opinions.
Uncle Tom, despite his advancing years, grasped this notion very well. he harnessed the power of the media to reach out and to send his messages across even though some of these messages might have been unau- thentic. he did not seek to alienate the media like the LCD is so aggressively doing.
as I have said, the story of Barack Obama speaks volumes of how astute politicians can harness the power of the media to create themselves. This talented son of a kenyan philanderer would never have ascended to the highest office in the land without his skilled exploitation of the media’s power.
Iwas saddened to interact with ntate Mocho the other day and hear him blame everyone else but himself and other leaders of the LCD for their party’s dismal performance.
In fact, he blamed me in particular for his party’s poor showing. It’s of course true that I have many followers and I am more popular than most politicians. But you cannot blame me for your failures after you have refused to take my advice.
The allegation that I led to the demise of the LCD is as crass as the perception that I supported Ntate Thabane.
Readers of this column will know of the acres of space I devoted criticising Uncle Tom including delving into his private affairs with his young fairly presentable then concubine.
Instead of pillorying me, he listened to my advice and hence his prolific performance from 17 seats in 2007, to 25 of the 80 contested seats in 2012 and then 40 in 2015. This is how it ought to be.
I must state that I am not happy and never celebrate when I see any of the major parties failing. Our democracy is much healthier when we have a few strong parties. While it makes no sense for a small country like Lesotho to have the countless political parties that we have, the three main ones – the DC, LCD and ABC must each remain strong enough to separately compete for power outside coalition arrangements.
Democracy flourishes when both the ruling and the opposition parties are strong enough to regularly dislodge each other from power.
So I have firm and good faith advice for the LCD to consider at its upcoming congress or conference or elective conference.
Either this party takes this advice and becomes electable again and reclaims all its lost seats or it will continue being a junior free loader in coalitions where it cannot exert serious independent influence. I will freely disseminate this advice next week. If you are an LCD supporter, don’t miss reading me next week. You never miss me anyway.
LCD Acting Secretary General Tšeliso Mokhosi (left) and spokesperson Selibe Mochoboroane
LCD leader Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing.