My free ad­vice to the LCD . . .

Lesotho Times - - Scrutator -

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.

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