Stereotyping is counter-productive
ANYONE who has travelled into Maseru’s central business district during peak hours will attest to the large dose of patience they have to take while watching taxis and 4+1’s break every rule on the road.
Add rain and or a collision to this already hot mess and what you have is people spending vast amounts of productive time in traffic.
This is thanks to a booming middle class and the ubiquity of “mojapane” cars that have become even more accessible to Basotho.
This is great but it also means that Lesotho remains a dumping ground for other countries (this is a story for another day).
For a long time, I was of the belief that the government should take a serious look into paving new roads out of town to ease the flow of traffic.
In fact (note I do not have any qualification in town planning) I have gone as far as
They make such claims without any basis at all and for grounds that are glaringly scandalous.
This begs the question, no matter where a well-meaning foreigner comes from across the globe, the moment he sets foot in the Mountain Kingdom, and sees matters differently from certain politician leaders, he is labelled a nationalist or congress-inclined.
I always wonder rather disingenuously, how they manage to take out party membership of rival political formations.
This clearly defies logic and common sense. It is reckless political utterances in the extreme. However, the gullible masses in our populace readily subscribe to this senseless labelling stereotypes. mapping these roads in my head and I would happily share these with our beloved town planners.
A conversation with a friend allowed me to see the folly of my ways. No amount of road building will ever be enough to clear the mess that Maseru is in right now. Not to mention there seems to be very little space left for new roads.
We have managed to construct buildings everywhere. I, therefore, propose six solutions to this problem. The first two I will not discuss in detail as they require government intervention.
1. Build more roads This is a long-term project that requires government intervention.
2. Decentralise This entails building other business districts just outside town (office parks, shopping
I am alarmed to the core by some political leaders who ascribe the scourge of HIV-AIDS to followers of a certain political persuasion. They utter these unfortunate statements well-knowing that owing to a variety of factors in our society people afflicted by this debilitating condition are unfortunately stigmatized by the larger community.
This in effect says that followers of this political formation should be stigmatized and subtly suggesting, which is disheartening indeed, that the followers of this political formation have brought misery on the nation.
This coming from some political leaders deserves to be dismissed with utter contempt. It is utterly disturbing. HIV-AIDS is a condition that exists throughout the world across the political spectrum and does not deserve discrimination.
6. Leave our high fuel consumption cars
at home and use public transport Firstly this can be done literally overnight. Secondly, in these financially trying times, it can save you quite a bit of money.
Thirdly, as far a public transport goes, Lesotho has a pretty decent public transport infrastructure (if you ignore the way they drive).
Also, all these car fumes can’t be good for our small country let alone our health.
Traffic jams in Maseru are not going anywhere! In fact, I would go as far as blaming the traffic on every person who drives into town, especially the one person in a seven seater car (I know some circumstances dictate that you have to drive).
My point is, there is no one solution to the current traffic congestions. It is really on us (forget the government) to make the change, otherwise have fun sitting idly by in peak hour traffic, every day for five days a week.
It is equally disheartening to hear certain political leaders in public forums arguing vehemently that persons who belong to different political formations are, to use the overused cliché, oil and water.
These is quite a telling public utterance particularly to these of our people who have profound knowledge of chemistry in that they can attest to the conclusion that oil and water do not mix under any circumstances.
This in effect means that Basotho, though eternally bound by culture, tradition and family cannot live together peacefully.
These stereotypes are utterly disturbing and ought to be condemned at all costs. This nation cannot afford it when its leaders sow division instead of unity.
If this stereotype is not arrested timeously because it is counter-productive it will degen-
AS the political situation in this country is becoming increasingly fluid and explosive, it is absolutely vital that all stakeholders work together to ensure Lesotho is restored to a state of sanity, not to mention peace, progress, justice, and — ultimately — prosperity.
One thing that everyone needs to understand is that this struggle on the political playing field is doing nothing to solve our immediate problems and they are many.
In fact, the battle is merely a diversion and has forced the key decision-makers to take their eyes off the real issues confronting us as a nation.
The battle is absorbing resources and attention that are urgently needed to tackle our immediate problems; it is deepening the crisis we all face.
The political risk stemming from the decisions made by politicians, looms large. While economic risk is often referred to as a country’s ability to pay back its debts, political risk is sometimes identified as the willingness of a country to pay its arrears or maintain a hospitable climate for investment.
Even if a country’s economy is strong and the political climate is unfriendly, the nation may not be a good investment destination.
erate to the level where even various religious orders in religious denominations, the bedrock on which our collective moral fibre rests, to be labelled belonging to certain political formations which is bordering on blasphemy.
Indeed some of our leaders have stooped so low as to label any organization or groups that by accident, are clod in colours of a certain political formation as belonging to that formation. We have degenerated to a level where we are now afraid to wear a particular coloured clothing let alone disagree with a certain politician, where are inevitably labelled, stereotyping, belonging to nationalists or congress aligned.
It is the responsibility of all our political leaders to stop public utterances that stereotype people with different views from others.
They have to show political maturity and depth that promote unity and tangible reasoning not showing division and irrational labelling that drives a wedge between this deeply polarised nation. The message is simple: stereotyping is counter-productive.