Econ­omy un­der siege

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lo and be­hold, it deemed it pru­dent to de­cide oth­er­wise mean­ing ve­hi­cles that are taxed in South Africa are util­is­ing our road in­fra­struc­ture and their rentals are be­ing paid to South Africa. Clearly this is flight of fi­nance to South Africa.the govern­ment is fail­ing to make hay while the sun still shines.

This is be­cause so­cial up­lift­ment pro­grammes such as ter­tiary education, health ser­vices, so­cial de­vel­op­ment and as­sis­tance to the vul­ner­a­ble in­firm and dis­abled and agri­cul­ture are run­ning low on govern­ment fund­ing. For in­stance, just last week vir­tu­ally all the vil­lages in most of Berea district were hit by

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sary modal­i­ties on how, and by whom, etc, are put in place. The 2007 stand­ing Or­ders es­tab­lished a new doc­u­ment named ATC. When the eighth Par­lia­ment pre­ma­turely ended, that ap­par­ently im­por­tant doc­u­ment had not seen the sun. Ev­ery hu­man ac­tion has to be guided through/by agreed pro­ce­dures.

In the con­text of what hap­pens else­where, the Sixth and Sev­enth Par­lia­ments of Le­sotho could earn some credit for the in­no­va­tions they put in place, par­tic­u­larly in the wish to in­volve the na­tion in the work of par­lia­ment and pro­fes­sional sup­port to MPS.

To that end, the two Houses com­mit­ted them­selves to reg­u­larly de­liver copies of daily Hansard to District Ad­min­is­tra­tors Of­fices, District and Com­mu­nity Coun­cils, Chiefs Of­fices etc; to en­able con­stituents to fol­low up on what tran­spires daily in each House of par­lia­ment. The out­look then, was that the daily Hansard would be up­loaded on the par­lia­ment se­vere storms leav­ing the af­fected fam­i­lies in need of govern­ment aid. One won­ders what the govern­ment will do to al­le­vi­ate the im­pend­ing drought brought about the El Nino of which govern­ment has been duly warned about. In ad­di­tion to the slug­gish econ­omy no em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties are be­ing cre­ated at all, lead­ing to the in­escapable con­clu­sion that the govern­ment is run­ning the econ­omy to ground. In­stead of al­le­vi­at­ing the prob­lem, govern­ment is com­pound­ing it. web site.

An English lan­guage par­lia­men­tary quar­terly mag­a­zine was launched un­der the ti­tle of Ka Para­menteng. It was de­signed to be a mouth piece and mir­ror of the two Houses in­ter­na­tion­ally. Re­search Units were es­tab­lished to arm MPS with knowl­edge re­lat­ing to newly im­merg­ing par­lia­men­tary trends.

The Pub­lic Re­la­tions Unit was equally cre­ated be­cause the na­tion de­serves to know about the work­ings of par­lia­ment. The con­cept of Law Clerk was sim­i­larly in­tro­duced to ser­vice both the two Houses and in­di­vid­ual MPS. Think­ing then was that those new func­tions would ex­pand over time as a re­sponse to in­creas­ing de­mands. That era had one ma­jor ad­van­tage. Gov­ern­ments of the time were ac­tu­ally smart. Each Min­istry and House of Par­lia­ment had to demon­strate its achieve­ments at the end of ev­ery fi­nan­cial year.

Each Min­is­ter had to sign a per-

Surely we need lead­ers with fore­sight who can fore­see that this frag­ile econ­omy can­not sus­tain th­ese short-sighted poli­cies and that we will for­ever run around the world with a beg­ging bowl for as­sis­tance. Govern­ment has to change this ap­proach else the con­se­quences are too ghastly to con­tem­plate, to bor­row the over-used cliché.

Pro­po­nents might ar­gue that th­ese are but small amounts, but my counter-ar­gu­ment is that th­ese are just the tip of the ice­berg that af­flicts our frag­ile econ­omy. for­mance compact with the Prime Min­is­ter, while Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­taries and the 2 Clerks had theirs with Govern­ment Sec­re­tary. Surely many still re­mem­ber that. Can`t that be reen­acted — at least un­til par­lia­ment has an au­ton­o­mous ser­vice.

The eighth NCP has been a good re­minder about the role ex­pected of com­mu­ni­ties in the work of par­lia­ment and govern­ment. This could be an op­por­tu­nity to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion of all those in­no­va­tions of the past — they could be out­dated or re­main rel­e­vant but not put to use any more, as par­lia­ments re­place each other.

An­other key po­ten­tial ac­tor in all th­ese could be the me­dia. In bet­ter work­ing democ­ra­cies, be­friend­ing the me­dia is a top pri­or­ity for a par­lia­ment; so that the me­dia does not cre­ate news or find par­lia­men­tary news for them­selves.

Me­dia brief­ings are a must for par­lia­ment. It is not to be a mo­nop­oly of the ex­ec­u­tive. One won­ders if the

me­dia will de­velop some in­ter­est in the above men­tions. This will in­deed

be an­other test on the kind of me­dia Le­sotho has.

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