Economy’s fate hinges on political decisions
AS reported in this edition, Lesotho has paid a hefty price for the delay in the allocation of the national budget for the 2015/2016 financial year, with economic activity declining by 10.2 percent in the second quarter of 2015.
Over the years, the national budget has been presented in February. However, Finance Minister ’Mamphono Khaketla only presented her budget proposals before the 9th Parliament on 22 May 2015, resulting in a marked delay in the implementation of the government’s capital projects.
Admittedly, the delay in the budget allocation process was partly a result of the snap 28 February general elections following the collapse of the previous coalition.
While it was understandable that the coalition needed time to get to reacquaint themselves with government operations, the situation demanded that they hit the ground running to prevent a virtual standstill in the implementation of capital projects.
Ultimately, the wheels of the state should continue to turn no matter who is in charge. The country needs to have apolitical bureaucrats seamlessly steering the ship of state as politicians handover and takeover power. Given Lesotho’s propensity to abruptly change governments, the economy cannot be held at ransom by elections or the transition of power.