Sejanamane’s paralysis of analysis
RECENTLY, we have read with great interest the political analysis by Professor Mafa Sejanamane, whether on his Lesothoanalysis blog, Tweeter, thepost and Lesotho Times newspapers. He has been very scathing and prolific in condemning the current coalition government’s performance since it took over administration of the country.
However, some of his criticisms even went as far back as 30 August 2013. He does not only challenge the democratic standing of the current government but its governance record. It is these issues that I will address for now.
Professor Mafa Sejanamane Once upon a time, the professor was an active member of the All Basotho Convention (ABC). He became an office bearer after being elected to the position of deputy publicity officer that is if I recall very well. His boss was one Thabo Thakalekoala who later became our former prime minister’s able spokesperson.
My point here is that sometimes I fail to comprehend whether he makes political analysis as a professor or as an ABC propagandist. This stems from the fact that his political analysis on governance issues in this country is so paralysed, to the extent that one begins to wonder why a man who studied political science for nearly 10 years at various universities can be so biased in his views of political events. I expect better than this paralysis of analysis from our esteemed professor.
Democracy He correctly alluded to the strength of our democracy in Lesotho and the fact that we went through peaceful democratic elections in 2015, which were recognised by the whole world as free, fair and credible. I agree with him on this point. Democracy is regarded as indispensable and is very special. It is special because it is put forward as the main reason why we should obey the rules and laws of political systems. We obey these rules because they are democratically made.
Most SADC countries these days are fully democratic. Democracy is understood and respected by all. In fact, in a democracy, coups are not allowed. There are no foreign interventions. Governments are only removed through elections and not by regional interventions. After all, the current political science readings inform us that democracies do not fight democracies. It is a fallacy to expect that a regional body like SADC can be so thoughtless to send a foreign army to disarm the Lesotho Defence Force.
Professor Sejanamane makes an assumption in his latest Lesotho analysis that President Jacob Zuma was even suggesting that he will send an army to come to Lesotho to disarm what the professor terms lawless soldiers. That would be a declaration of war of which there is not even an iota of evidence to suggest that.
Lesotho and all SADC member states enjoy cordial relations. Therefore, talk of war is far-fetched. Lesotho does not have lawless soldiers. We have a highly professional army which has become the envy of the region of which Basotho are very proud.
Foreign armies can only come if the current government makes such a request. No foreign army can come to Lesotho without government endorsement. To even assume that this can happen is not only wrong but just a figment of his imagination that will not happen.
He talks about Lesotho being sanctioned, and that the government will collapse within a month. My advice to him is this government will complete its mandate of five years. So he might as well get accustomed to that reality.
Maybe some regional examples would suffice here. Take the current ongoing civil war in Mozambique that started in January 2016 where over 100 people, including Members of Parliament have so far died. Have any sanctions been imposed on Mozambique? Two Mozambican independent papers recently published extracts from interviews conducted on purported members of the country’s Special Forces Rapid Intervention Unit.
They claimed that they carry out extra-judicial executions of the government’s political enemies. The Star of 29 March 2016 claimed that the two gentlemen even alleged that they have orders to eliminate opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama.
In fact, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Malawi is currently housing more than 12 000 refugees from the Mozambique civil war. The Star newspaper also claims that refugees at the Kapisi refugee camp on the Malawian-mozambican border have told the NGOS that Mozambican Defence and Security forces carried out summary executions, rape and burning of houses and barns in their villages. The leader of the official opposition is languishing under house arrest as we write. We do not see any SADC army going to Mozambique to disarm that country’s military. So where does the professor get this wild imagination that SADC is going to disarm members of the LDF?
Despite these terrifying developments, Mozambique has managed to keep itself off the SADC agenda. But what is clear is that Mozambique needs SADC help more than any other country in the region.
The Republic of Seychelles pulled out of SADC in the early 2000s and is back again. The last examples that I will like to give is that of Madagascar, which governed without SADC support and many people were killed during the coup in that country. I do not want to give examples of Zimbabwe or Angola. But the above is just a sufficient illustration of the fact that these myths that the professor is propagating will not happen in Lesotho.
Government fear of Lt-gen Kamoli In a democracy, when a prime minister takes an oath of office, this simply means that he or she will follow democratic rules and protect the independence of state institutions under his watch. This does not mean he has to fear them. After all, governance processes dictate that the buck stops with him.
For a person of a professor’s calibre to allege that the premier fears a head of a government institution is not only mischievous but downright embarrassing. Firstly, Professor Sejanamane accuses Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of supporting army commander Lieutenant-general Tlali Kamoli’s unconstitutional refusal to leave office after being dismissed by Dr Thabane.
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