Enemies of our democracy
LAST week, two characters, namely Dr Fako Likoti and Arthur Majara made a grand appearance in two different media platforms; the former in a newspaper article and the latter on radio. Following their statements one would assume they do not occupy the same space as the rest of us, but instead live in a planet still yet to be discovered.
Starting off with Dr Likoti, he is a political advisor to the prime minister and penned an article in the Lesotho Times (31 March 2016) titled “Sejanamane’s paralysis of analysis” (beautiful poetic title no doubt) where he criticised the National University of Lesotho Political Science Professor for some of his recent commentary on Lesotho politics, more especially on the army and government’s reluctance and fear to deal decisively with the long-running Lieutenant-general Tlali Kamoli saga.
I will not go into his various ramblings in the entire article but will point at one clear fallacy on his part. He claims that “we have a highly professional army which has become the envy of the region of which Basotho are very proud.”
Let me make it immediately clear to Dr Likoti that in alleging that Basotho are proud of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) he should not include me in that group which in my opinion consists of him, his family and the current government.
I and surely many other right-thinking and self-respecting Basotho are not short of people and groups to be proud of but the LDF — in its current form — does not fall into that category of institutions that evoke pride.
For starters, Dr Likoti should be specific about his so-called pride in the LDF. With his research background, he should know better not to make blanket statements about what Basotho are proud of without presenting tangible evidence.
Honestly speaking, where would this pride in the LDF stem from? What have they done to deserve any praise? In my humble opinion, absolutely nothing except sowing chaos. In fact, if I had my way there would be no such institution called the LDF upon which successive governments pump huge resources for no good reason. If indeed the LDF is the envy of the region as he says, SADC would not be here for yet another misbehaviour by this same army.
Dr Likoti should give us specifics on the good deeds of this army, the battles they have fought in defence of Lesotho and the victories they have brought home. The LDF is notorious for sometimes parading outdated equipment on our streets to intimidate citizens who have no clue about modern and advanced military equipment. Their equipment (inclusive of the tiny rams) cannot even stand its ground against 20 South African police officers.
It has been well documented how since independence in 1966, the Lesotho army has been right at the centre of this country’s political malaise and instability. The most recently notable cases being 1994, 1998 and 2014 to the present. I guess this is the same shameful history that Dr Likoti and like-minded people are so proud of.
They are pleased with the senseless killing of Mohau Qobete and Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko and the cold-blood assassination of Lt-gen Maaparankoe Mahao. Surely they don’t mind leaving their children to an uncertain future the same way it happened with Qobete, Ramahloko and Mahao.
Dr Likoti’s undying love for the LDF does not even recognise the damning SADC report on the same army; an institution that has brought unwanted attention from the international community. Does the reading of the Justice Phumaphi report evoke any sort of admiration for the LDF? Only those who have just landed from Mars would be made to believe that nothing is rotten in the state of Lesotho.
Even the rot that Shakespeare once alluded to in the state of Denmark over four centuries ago does not come close. For people like Dr Likoti, death is about statistics (one or three people killed) and not about the sanctity of life. He is one of those who have always questioned what the fuss is over the death of one man. I have previously challenged those like him to commit suicide if life is so meaningless.
In short, the LDF — through selfish political interests — have been nothing short of enemies of our democracy. My intention is not to pour scorn on the entire LDF. Some among them have openly told us of their frustrations in the current LDF set-up and are unhappy about the notoriety that their institution has gained in recent times. If wishes were horses they would ride away and offer their services elsewhere.
The second character, Mr Majara, appeared on PC FM this past week and rambled on and on about the current situation in Lesotho. Among some of his unfortunate statements was his wish that the Lt-gen Mahao issue comes to nothing so that his family can wait and wait in perpetual frustration. I have never heard such disrespect in my entire life. It’s hard to believe there are individuals who openly laugh at another family’s tragic loss.
I have a feeling this man is driven by jealousy at the manner in which Maaparankoe’s family has shown remarkable resolve and unity to fight for justice despite the relentless efforts by selfish politicians and other enemies of our democracy continuously placing obstacles in their path.
This was an utterance full of sheer irresponsibility and which begs the question: what does Mr Majara gain out of standing in the way of justice as opposed to advocating for the rule of law and accountability? A lucrative position in government perhaps?
For him it means nothing that till today his government has never processed Maaparankoe’s terminal benefits so that his children can continue to have meals and a decent education.
While Mr Majara’s beloved government has turned a blind eye on all correspondence from Maaparankoe’s family, he should be made aware that money is not the key driving force behind the unbending determination to seek justice.
If there is one thing the family would one day take pride in would be the political emancipation that Basotho will enjoy as a result of the ultimate sacrifice their son paid to liberate this country from those holding it to ransom.
When this is achieved, Maaparankoe’s family will not take the glory but instead will cast their eyes back to that solitary cemetery in the village of Mokema and salute Lt-gen Mahao for the bullets he took on his body to liberate this country from selfish interests.
Let me humbly inform Mr Majara and those who share his warped thinking that Maaparankoe built his prominent profile from humble beginnings.
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