I will buy MPS milkshakes
. . . if they return to the National Assembly
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