Hon­est ad­vice to Mr Size Two

Lesotho Times - - Scrutator -

LIKE most of you, I had been keenly await­ing the re­lease of the Phumaphi Com­mis­sion re­port by the 1 Fe­bru­ary 2016 dead­line im­posed by SADC so I can dis­sect it in this col­umn for the ben­e­fit of the Ba­sotho na­tion.

But alas, that is not to be. De­spite SADC’S bravado in threat­en­ing to re­lease the re­port it­self if the coali­tion govern­ment did not do so, both SADC and the Mo­sisili govern­ment reached an am­i­ca­ble set­tle­ment to de­lay the re­lease of the re­port un­til Par­lia­ment re­opens on Mon­day.

Ntate Mo­sisili has been adamant that he wants the re­port to be re­leased to Par­lia­ment first and he has urged all and sundry to end their ex­iles and be present for this pro­pi­tious event.

No prizes for guess­ing whether Cy­clone Tom will aban­don the splen­dour and com­fort of Ficks­burg to grace this oc­ca­sion. He has said he will only come with heav­ily-armed SADC body­guards in tow to pro­tect him just in case his chief neme­sis — King Kamoli — be­comes trig­ger happy.

As there is no prece­dent of any re­gional or­gan­i­sa­tion de­ploy­ing heavy mus­cled men to pro­tect an op­po­si­tion leader, Cy­clone Tom’s ar­rival re­mains as un­likely as Le­sotho pro­duc­ing a Mark Zucker­berg.

How­ever, all the high stakes over the Phumaphi Com­mis­sion re­port have less to do with Cy­clone Tom’s de­ci­sion to come or stay away than Ntate Mo­sisili’s own ac­tions. Ntate Mo­sisili has al­ready threat­ened to edit it be­fore its re­lease if he deems some of its sec­tions as a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

Be­cause of the Phumaphi re­port’s over­all im­por­tance to the political and eco­nomic fu­ture of the Ba­sotho na­tion and its bear­ing over the King­dom’s re­la­tions with in­ter­na­tional part­ners, I have de­cided to de­vote this col­umn to giv­ing Ntate Mo­sisili my hon­est and best ad­vice about how he must pro­ceed.

In do­ing so, I am not seek­ing to dis­lodge Fako Likoti from his lofty perch of be­ing the PM’S se­nior eco­nomic and political ad­vi­sor. I love Dr Likoti too much to want his job. I may not agree with him on many is­sues but I love his frank­ness. That’s a story for an­other day how­ever.

My word to Ntate Mo­sisili is that a coun­try like Le­sotho, with a large por­tion of its cit­i­zenry con­sumed in such hum­drum en­tre­pre­neur­ial en­deav­ours like fruit vend­ing and car wash stalls pro­vides very scarce op­por­tu­ni­ties for any leader to find legacy defin­ing mo­ments.

I at­tended the Demo­cratic Congress event last week at which Ntate Mo­sisili ex­co­ri­ated the be­hind the scenes ma­noeu­vring by his mav­er­ick party col­leagues who want to see his back. Ntate Mo­sisili reigned for 14 years be­fore the Cy­clone hit.

He has been lucky enough to make a come­back. If I were him, I would now start think- ing se­ri­ously about my legacy. Not least be­cause some in the DC now think its Ntate Moleleki’s turn.

I can­not think of any bet­ter legacy defin­ing mo­ment than the one now pre­sented be­fore Ntate Mo­sisili by the Phumaphi com­mis­sion.

So here is my free ad­vice to you Ntate. Please en­sure that this re­port is re­leased and no other ex­cuse en­sues to jus­tify any fur­ther de­lays af­ter Mon­day. Per­haps your de­ci­sion to in­sist that you want to re­lease it to Par­lia­ment first is out of def­er­ence to our MPS.

There is noth­ing par­tic­u­larly wrong with that, ex­cept that some in our Par­lia­ment are over­weight and ever doz­ing and don’t seem to care much about what hap­pens in this Au­gust house.

If I were you, I would have re­leased the re­port to the pub­lic straight away with­out wait­ing for Par­lia­ment. Be that as it may, please en­sure that the re­port is re­leased on Mon­day with­out fail. This must hap­pen re­gard­less of whether Cy­clone Tom, with young Li­a­biloe in tour, de­cides to show his hand­some face or not.

I per­son­ally don’t see any point in all other op­po­si­tion par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, who don’t seem to face any im­me­di­ate dan­ger from King Kamoli, and have been here ever since their lead­ers bolted into ex­ile, boy­cotting this event. If I were them, I would come for this re­port and then re­sume the boy­cott later.

Se­condly, please jet­ti­son all your threats to edit the re­port. I can hardly fathom any­thing in the re­port (even though I haven’t seen it) that can be re­motely con­tem­plated as be­ing a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

Re­lease the re­port, unedited, un­ex­pur­gated, unabridged, un­cut and un­re­vised. Re­lease it full length. There have been ex­cerpts pur­port­ing to be from the re­port do­ing the rounds on so­cial me­dia.

All se­ri­ous news­pa­pers have been re­spon­si­ble enough to ig­nore them. Even our nor­mally way­ward ra­dio sta­tions have ig­nored them. But one weekly news­pa­per saw it fit to head­line one of its edi­tions with the words — SADC Re­port leaked — bas­ing the story on the so­cial me­dia ex­cerpts that were vir­tu­ally un­ver­i­fi­able. To imag­ine that any editor can in this day and age pick up any­thing on so­cial me­dia and present it as fact is a bit de­press­ing.

But let’s just for once imag­ine that the re­port will con­cur with the re­ports on so­cial me­dia and rec­om­mend the lynch­ing of a few Ba­sotho be­hind the tragedies that prompted the es­tab­lish­ment of the Phu- maphi com­mis­sion in the first place.

My ad­vice to you Ntate Mo­sisili re­mains that please come clean on this re­port even if you may not like what it says. Show some savvy brinkman­ship. Al­low this na­tion to have ac­cess to the en­tire re­port.

Please don’t sac­ri­fice this na­tion or your legacy be­cause of the need to pro­tect a few way­ward in­di­vid­u­als who made their beds but don’t want to lie on them. Put the na­tional in­ter­est first.

Af­ter the na­tion has had ac­cess to the orig­i­nal unedited and un­cut re­port, al­low a time of re­flec­tion and de­bate among all and sundry.

You must then ad­dress the na­tion on your take on the re­port. Be as frank as you can. If you em­brace all its rec­om­men­da­tions, ex­plain why to all Ba­sotho.

If you de­cide to ac­cept some and re­cant some, please ex­plain why. In­vite all Ba­sotho, in­clud­ing all your friends, en­e­mies and fren­e­mies, to study the re­port and give their in­put.

The worst mis­take you can make is to edit the re­port and con­fine it to an elit­ist de­bate by our large bod­ied MPS at the ex­pense of the povo.

Imust state that I don’t envy you at this stage. You may feel the need to want to pro­tect those whose ac­tions pro­pelled you back into power. But your guid­ing prin­ci­ple should be the na­tional in­ter­est. This is time for lead­er­ship. You are a leader and your ac­tions must not only ex­em­plify lead­er­ship, they must prove it.

One fact is in­dis­putable. Your han­dling and mis­han­dling of this re­port will be a mark on your legacy and that of your party. By com­ing clean on this re­port, you would have shown lead­er­ship.

You will set the stage for heal­ing and re-unit­ing this coun­try which is split right through the middle. You would have en­abled the coun­try to be­gin some se­ri­ous soul search­ing for na­tional rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

Great lead­ers are of­ten called to take un­palat­able de­ci­sions. The most en­dur­ing and defin­ing qual­ity of good lead­er­ship is the abil­ity to dis­tin­guish be­tween per­sonal and na­tional in­ter­ests.

The Phumaphi Com­mis­sion pro­vides the best op­por­tu­nity to right what is wrong in this coun­try. It is the best op­por­tu­nity for us to kick-start na­tional di­a­logue to move this coun­try for­ward.

If the re­port rec­om­mends that some among us must fall on our very sharp swords, so let it be. As we have now ex­pe­ri­enced, court ef­forts to stall it were not only un­ten­able, they were dump. The Ba­sotho na­tion is greater than the in­di­vid­ual in­ter­ests of some among us. Go for it.

Do the right thing Ntate Mo­sisili. I know you can do the right thing Mr Size Two. You are on the cusp of dou­bling your size so that no other politi­cian can never be able to fill your shoes again.


Prime min­is­ter Pakalitha mo­sisili

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