Conversations with parrots
what they have been going through.
They vowed that the Phumaphi report would not be accepted and published until Lieutenant-colonel Tefo Hashatsi’s case (to have the SADC inquiry declared illegal) was finalised in the Lesotho courts.
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili brought the report from Gaborone, Botswana on 19 January 2016 and had it published soon after.
They vowed that they were not bound to implement the recommendations of the Phumaphi report. After one week of a futile shuttle diplomacy by Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing to Botswana and Mozambique, the deputy premier ended up telling the media that the government will implement the recommendations.
After declaring that opposition political party leaders in exile had no credible reason for fleeing the country, the government has been feverishly negotiating for the return of those leaders with security in line with the letter by Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi to Dr Mosisili.
Incidentally, the propagandists have, at the same time, argued that Mr Nyusi has no credibility in the Lesotho matter since Mozambique has its own internal difficulties leading to some people taking refuge in Malawi.
What this essentially means is that state propaganda points to the opposite direction to what reality is. But as this divergence increases, the shriller becomes their attacks against whomever they see as disagreeing with their delusional perspectives.
But for misinformation to be effective, it must be intelligently driven rather than concoct facts and hope that what one puts in the media will be taken as the truth.
It is important to emphasise putting out
information to the public arena requires a bit of intelligence and skill.
These are not the attributes which some of the government propagandists have. Theirs is merely to say what they believe their employers would like to hear.
It is this that makes it difficult to have sensible conversations about Lesotho politics with those who see their job as defending positions rather than providing credible information.
The conversation which has emerged in the past few months or so on Lesotho politics has been marred by people who mean to deceive rather than to inform.
It is a conversation which goes beyond talking to the wall. It is one where ignorance and deceit predominate.
For some, the important thing is to parrot whatever they think will please their employers. It is a conversation with idiots and parrots rather than a discussion with peers.
l Sejanamane is a professor of Political Science at the National University of Lesotho.