Se­jana­mane’s paral­y­sis of anal­y­sis

Lesotho Times - - Opinion & Analysis - Dr Fako John­son Likoti

In­tro­duc­tion

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.

Con­tin­ued on page 22...

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