I will buy MPS milk­shakes

. . . if they re­turn to the Na­tional As­sem­bly

Lesotho Times - - Scrutator - scru­ta­tor266@gmail.com

DON’T take it per­son­ally fel­low Ba­sotho. I am re­fer­ring to all op­po­si­tion MPS. I am this week con­tin­u­ing with my theme of last week that you must all re­turn to Par­lia­ment. This is an im­por­tant sub­ject. That’s why I have elected to re­peat it.

As I said last week, a boy­cott can be a good strat­egy to achieve an end. How­ever, a boy­cott be­comes mean­ing­less if it be­comes an end in it­self.

When you started your boy­cott of Par­lia­ment, the goal was to, among other things, en­sure the re­turn of Un­cle Tom, Ntate Th­e­sele and Aun­tie Keke, as well as the fir­ing of King Kamoli. None of all the ini­tial goals in­tended by your boy­cott strat­egy have been achieved thus far. In fact, King Kamoli has be­come more en­trenched and could soon be­come Em­peror. Ntate Mot­soa­hae, Ntate Th­e­sele and Aun­tie Keke re­main en­sconced in Ficks­burg and La­dy­brand.

I must also em­pha­size that I do, as many Ba­sotho, sym­pa­thise with your de­mands. King (soon to be Em­peror) Kamoli’s re­moval from the LDF has been de­manded by none other than SADC. Your lead­ers must also re­turn with all the se­cu­rity guar­an­tees for their safety. Maa­parankoe’s killers must be held ac­count­able. There is noth­ing far-fetched about all th­ese de­mands?

My prob­lem re­mains how are you go­ing to achieve all th­ese de­mands or at least make noise about them if you keep your­selves out­side that most pre­cious and au­gust body, the Na­tional As­sem­bly? It made sense for a while for you to boy­cott the House. But it is my hon­est sub­mis­sion that you will do your causes more harm than good if you con­tinue to fight your bat­tles out­side Par­lia­ment. Who surely will lis­ten to you out­side Par­lia­ment?

You are never go­ing to meet Ntate Mo­sisili at the Bus Stop Area and en­gage him there. But you can surely hold him to ac­count in Par­lia­ment. It is his con­sti­tu­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity to talk to you in Par­lia­ment. It is your con­sti­tu­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity to ask him ques­tions and hold him to ac­count in Par­lia­ment. In fact, it is an honourable thing and a recog­ni­tion of Par­lia­ment’s im­por­tance that Ntate Mo­sisili de­cided to re­lease the Phumaphi com­mis­sion re­port there. In­deed you sus­pended your boy­cott, if just for the day, to at­tend the ses­sion to re­lease the re­port. You should then have re­mained in Par­lia­ment.

In re­leas­ing the Phumaphi Com­mis­sion re­port, Ntate Mo­sisili was very clear that his coali­tion would im­ple­ment some of the rec­om­men­da­tions in the short, medium and long-term while oth­ers may not see the light of day; to quote him al­most ver­ba­tim.

But has any Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment ques­tioned him to out­line the ex­act point to point de­tails of each of th­ese re­forms that would be im­ple­mented in terms of this stag­gered ar­range­ment?

The an­swer is no be­cause the only fo­rum best suited to ask the Prime Min­is­ter th­ese ques­tions is in Par­lia­ment from where you are all ab­sent? Is SADC’S rec­om­men­da­tion on King Kamoli’s LDF re­cusal one of those is­sues that might be im­ple­mented in the short, medium or long term or that may never see the light of day? We can only know if th­ese ques­tions are put be­fore the Prime Min­is­ter in Par­lia­ment. But who is there to do it? Surely it is not in the in­ter­ests of coali­tion govern­ment MPS to ask th­ese ques­tions which may of­fend their own in­ter­ests. It has to be you the op­po­si­tion MPS.

Julius Malema is an un­e­d­u­cated fool, dun­der­head, a fail­ure in wood­work, a thug, and a pol­icy mo­ron. His en­tire bro­mide of poli­cies, based on bane­ful na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, will de­stroy South Africa and by im­pli­ca­tion Le­sotho, since we are de­pen­dent on our neigh­bour’s econ­omy.

Our brothers and sis­ters in South Africa can­not even is­sue pass­ports and IDS. They can’t run mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. They can­not de­liver ba­sic ser­vices de­spite the wealth of their lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

They can never run a fair ten­der process which is not crooked. How are they go­ing to be able to run so­phis­ti­cated min­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing, ICT and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, banks etc once na­tion­alised? Malema him­self built bridges and roads through his On Point En­gi­neer­ing com­pany when he still held sway in Lim­popo as ANC youth leader.

Th­ese were washed away a few days af­ter “com­ple­tion”. He stole pub­lic funds and wined and dined in opu­lence be­fore he fell out with Msholozi? How can such a guy even spew the term na­tion­al­i­sa­tion out of his big mouth?

I draw a mod­icum of re­lief that South Africans will not be stupid enough to put him into the Union Build­ings as pres­i­dent. But aside from my dis­agree­ments with his pol­icy in­ep­ti­tudes and eco­nomic il­lit­er­acy, I give one thing to Malema; he is a bril­liant political tac­ti­cian. He has within a brief pe­riod meta­mor­phosed into a political force to reckon with.

Just wit­ness how Malema has suc­ceeded in putting the equally inane, in­tel­lec­tual midget, the danc­ing, singing and ever phi­lan­der­ing Ja­cob Zuma on the de­fen­sive about ev­ery is­sue. Malema’s EFF star has risen me­te­or­i­cally. There has been one in­stru­ment at Malema’s dis­posal; Par­lia­ment. Malema has em­ployed about ev­ery an­tic to full use in Par­lia­ment against Zuma. He has been able to em­bar­rass Zuma at ev­ery turn.

Iam not sug­gest­ing that our op­po­si­tion MPS em­u­late Malema and de­ploy his an­tics against my dear old Ntate Pakalitha. All I am say­ing to all you op­po­si­tion MPS is that use Par­lia­ment ef­fec­tively to record your griev­ances and achieve re­sults. It’s your best plat­form. Your sus­tained boy­cott of Par­lia­ment has be­come un­ten­able. You were not elected to boy­cott Par­lia­ment but to use it to full use to rep­re­sent Ba­sotho.

What if Ntate Mo­sisili, al­ter­na­tively Mr Size Two, calls your bluff and de­cides to de­ploy all the con­sti­tu­tional pre­texts on ab­sen­teeism and call for by-elec­tions? Will you boy­cott those by elec­tions? If you do, won’t you then push Le­sotho into be­com­ing an ef­fec­tive one party state?

A boy­cott is akin to a hunger strike. If you go on a hunger strike, you starve your­self of all the es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents re­quired to keep the body alive. If you con­tinue on that strike, you die a slow painful death. If you die such a death, what have you achieved? How does dy­ing help any­one as a form of protest?

Let’s as­sume the cur­rent coali­tion govern­ment lasts un­til the next elec­tions in 2020? De­spite mur­murs to the con­trary, it now seems likely that this coali­tion govern­ment is hold­ing and will end its term. Will all you op­po­si­tion MPS main­tain your boy­cott till the next elec­tions? Will you then go to your con­stituen­cies to ask to be re-elected so that you can con­tinue boy­cotting Par­lia­ment? Surely that won’t make sense.

You have made your point and you must now come back and per­form the tasks you were elected to do.

Al­low me to throw the prover­bial cat among the pi­geons and ar­gue for all op­po­si­tion lead­ers to come back any­way. I don’t mean to un­der­es­ti­mate their fears. I just see no point be­ing in ex­ile in Ficks­burg or La­dy­brand. Are you se­ri­ously telling me that King Kamoli’s bul­lets can­not reach th­ese nearby places if he elects to fire some shots? It would have been un­der­stand­able if the op­po­si­tion lead­ers were in ex­ile in Joburg or Pre­to­ria or even Siberia or Equa­to­rial Guinea. Ficks­burg and La­dy­brand are too close to Makoanyane bar­racks to call them ideal ex­ile places. They are akin to be­ing in Khu­bet­soana or Naledi.

So why not just come back home to deal with im­por­tant is­sues here. I have said be­fore that I don’t be­lieve Ntate Tha­bane would be shot and killed upon ar­rival in Maseru as he has re­peat­edly claimed. He is a na­tional leader. He is the main op­po­si­tion leader. Surely King Kamoli will know the lim­its.

He will know that if the LDF pur­sues that step, this coun­try will burn and be­come un­govern­able. King Kamoli surely wouldn’t be­come that reck­less. In fact he must know its bet­ter to pro­tect Ntate Tha­bane than kill him. The same goes for Ntate Th­e­sele and Aun­tie Keke though to a lesser ex­tent be­cause of their minis­cule pres­ence in Par­lia­ment.

As I ar­gued last week, boy­cott pol­i­tics have their lim­its and might in fact achieve the op­po­site ends. Imag­ine Ntate Tha­bane de­cid­ing to end his Ficks­burg ex­ile one day in the fu­ture to re­turn to Maseru only to dis­cover that he no longer has a party left to lead, with Ntate Khasu hav­ing de­fected to the LCD and Thabo Thakalekoala hav­ing lost all his teeth and all his at­trac­tive­ness to at­tract women to the ABC fold.

What if af­ter los­ing all his teeth, Thakalekoala even de­cides to quit pol­i­tics al­to­gether to com­pete in the up­com­ing Mr Ugly Africa, Zim­babwe’s gift to the con­ti­nent. Th­ese are risks I would no longer take if I were Ntate Tha­bane.

But for the gen­eral good of democ­racy, I say to all op­po­si­tion MPS; you are bet­ter off fight­ing your cause in Par­lia­ment. Do the right thing and re­turn to the House. I will pro­vide you all with milk­shakes for your first 10 con­sec­u­tive sit­tings?


ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane

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