Thabane should get his priorities right
IF ever there was an anticlimax in the history of Lesotho’s politics, few will be more palpable than former premier thomas thabane’s decision yesterday to testify before the SADC Commission of Inquiry in camera.
Considering that the nation, and indeed the world, was awaiting to hear Dr thabane, it was certainly a big letdown that he opted to speak behind closed doors. the former prime minister is also likely to have bemused the multitudes of his supporters who had gone to thaba ‘Nchu to listen to his testimony in person.
the All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader is certainly within his rights to choose to testify in camera. the option was availed to witnesses who would be afraid to speak their minds fearing for their safety. however, the fact that Dr thabane is already in exile means that his safety was not in immediate jeopardy.
Considering that other exiled opposition leaders and soldiers had been bold enough to make no-holds-barred testimonies, the ABC leader should have also done the same as a show of solidarity with his fellow exiles. the exiles who testified certainly stuck their necks out with their chilling accounts of torture, and the question they are likely to ask is what secrets would Dr thabane not want to divulge in front of Basotho and the world?
What is apparent is that the former premier did not want to antagonize the government, with whom he is seemingly continuing to hold talks. While dialogue is an important aspect in ending the current political crisis, Dr thabane cannot secure his interests at the expense of the other exiles.
he needs to show leadership to both the exiles and supporters at home. otherwise, he risks disenfranchising both by being perceived as a political player rather than a man of the people.