You were not clear Ntate Litjobo ….

Lesotho Times - - Scrutator -

C Grass­roots lose Pa­tience: say Mo­sisili has over­stayed” screamed a head­line in Pub­lic Eye last week. the story was based on an in­ter­view Pub­lic Eye held with DC Youth league Pres­i­dent thuso litjobo.

Upon see­ing this head­line, i could not wait a sec­ond longer for my late sub­scrip­tion copy to land on my desk. i rushed to lancers inn to buy a copy.

it’s pretty ob­vi­ous why this head­line aroused my in­ter­est. rarely does the sub­ject of Ntate Mo­sisili’s ten­ure ever come up for dis­cus­sion. When­ever it’s spo­ken about, it’s done in muf­fled tones. The me­dia gen­er­ally avoids the sub­ject. so the Pub­lic Eye story caught my eye.

the fact that the story was quot­ing Ntate Litjobo made it even more sig­nif­i­cant.

how­ever, af­ter read­ing the story, i was left in the mid­dle of a whirl­wind. i will ex­plain why be­low.

“Demo­cratic Congress (DC) Youth league pres­i­dent thuso litjobo has ac­cused some party mem­bers of los­ing pa­tience with party leader and Prime Min­is­ter Dr Pakalitha Mo­sisili and be­ing de­ter­mined (sic) to see him go”, the in­tro to the Pub­lic Eye story read.

“litjobo told Pub­lic Eye that such peo­ple were or­di­nary mem­bers at the grass­roots level who do not oc­cupy any po­si­tions in the party’s struc­tures.

“he added he was sus­pi­cious that some mem­bers against Mo­sisili were bad mouthing him in the con­stituen­cies around the coun­try.”

“the struc­tures of the party, NEC (Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee), youth league com­mit­tee and other com­mit­tees are fine with Ntate Mo­sisili as the leader. the prob­lem seems to be mem­bers at the low­est level in the party,” litjobo was fur­ther quoted as say­ing.

n the same story, Pub­lic Eye quoted DC sec­re­tary-gen­eral ralechate Mokose as say­ing Ntate Mo­sisili “was a leader of the high­est stature and in­tegrity and it was rel­a­tively un­likely that party mem­bers could be im­pa­tient with his lead­er­ship.”

i am not rais­ing this story to knock down Pub­lic Eye. i have deep re­spect for this old weekly. But i am sure the ed­i­tor of Pub­lic Eye will agree with me that this story could have been han­dled bet­ter.

Every story must have a theme and clear syn­tax to ex­plain the rel­e­vant theme and make it com­pre­hen­si­ble for read­ers. the theme of the story was clear: Ntate Mo­sisili has over­stayed and his party’s grass­roots want him to go. But the syn­tax of the story was opaque.

Was Ntate litjobo speak­ing on be­half of these dis­grun­tled mem­bers? if so why? Was he agree­ing or dis­agree­ing with them? What is Ntate litjobo’s own per­spec­tive? Does he share the opin­ion of the pur­ported grass­roots that Ntate Mo­sisili must go? Who, in any event, con­sti­tutes this grass­roots? if the view­point that Ntate Mo­sisili must go is widely held in the DC, then why did Ntate Mokose con­tra­dict Ntate litjobo in the same story?

if the DC grass­roots want Ntate Mo­sisili to go, why did they re­turn him to power a short year ago in early 2015? all these ques­tions went unan­swered in the story. But more im­por­tantly why did Ntate litjobo raise this sub­ject sud­denly. What is his in­ter­est? is it pos­si­ble to have all the struc­tures of a po­lit­i­cal party be­ing happy with the leader, as he claimed, and then have only low level sup­port­ers grum­bling about that leader? Why did Pub­lic Eye let Ntate litjobo get away with mur­der?

as i said, i am not knock­ing Pub­lic Eye down. But due to the enor­mous im­por­tance of this sub­ject, i am sure the ed­i­tor will agree with scru­ta­tor that the story could have been bet­ter han­dled for full clar­ity and not let read­ers read the story be­tween the lines to ad­duce its proper aim and mean­ing. af­ter all, the sub­ject mat­ter of the story was vi­tally im­por­tant.

i was left to read the story be­tween the lines and in my hum­ble view and in the ab­sence of a clear ex­pla­na­tion as to why Ntate litjobo gave this in­ter­view, i have to be for­given for be­ing left with the im­pres­sion that lithope and liru­rubele in­deed ex­ist in the DC.

No or­di­nary reader can be blamed for think­ing that the story was Ntate litjobo’s own in­di­rect way of telling Ntate Mo­sisili that it’s time to call it quits. But let’s cast all that aside and as­sume that Ntate litjobo was 100 per­cent right in claim­ing that the rank and file of the DC wants Ntate Mo­sisili to go. i must then pose the fol­low­ing ques­tions to those rank and file mem­bers who want to see the back of Mr size two.

if you are re­ally fed up and are now im­pa­tient with Ntate Mo­sisili, why did you re­turn him to power? Why did you vote for him? Why did you not let Ntate Mot­soa­hae, aka Cy­clone tom aka Un­cle tom, con­tinue his cy­clonic havoc across the King­dom dur­ing last Fe­bru­ary’s elec­tions.

Why do you vote for a leader for a fiveyear term and then ex­pect him to quit be­fore he has fin­ished a third of that term? have you ever heard of one robert Mu­gabe (92 years old) who has pil­laged his coun­try while try­ing to spend close to four decades in power? have you ever heard of one Muam­mar Gaddafi (69 years old) who was hacked to death while try­ing to spend his 43third year in power? have you ever heard of one theo­dro Mba­sogo Nguema (74 years old) of Equa­to­rial Guinea Fame, who hacked his un­cle to death to seize power in the 1970s and is now ap­proach­ing his 40th year in power? have you ever heard of one Jose Ed­uardo Dos san­tos (74 years old), who is now in his 37th year in power and has con­verted his daugh­ter, is­abella, into be­com­ing africa’s rich­est woman?

have you not heard of one Yow­eri Mu­sev­eni of the Na­tional re­sis­tance Move­ment (NRM) who will this week com­mence his 31st year in power and still hop­ing to rule for an­other two decades? What about idris Derby of Chad who is now in his 26th year of power? and what of Den­nis sasso Nguesso of the Congo, who trashed the term lim­its in his coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion and is now in his 36th year in power? and Paul Biya of Cameroon now in his 34th year in power? the list is end­less.

Do these DC grass­roots sup­port­ers be­com­ing im­pa­tient with Ntate Mo­sisili not ap­pre­ci­ate that he has only been power in power for a short, flimsy 14 years be­fore be­ing ousted by Cy­clone tom in 2012. add the one year three months that he has been back in power, since Fe­bru­ary 2015, and you will come up with a short 15 years and three month ten­ure.

Now com­pare that short stint with the rest of the terms of Ntate Mo­sisili’s coun­ter­parts men­tioned above? Why not af­ford Ntate Mo­sisili the op­por­tu­nity to rule just for 15 more years so that he can at least cel­e­brate 30 years at the helm of his Majesty’s govern­ment and reign till he is in his late 80s or early 90s. isn’t that the african way? Who says le­sotho does not need its own robert Mu­gabe?

if the DC grass­roots sup­port­ers say No, as re­ported by Pub­lic Eye and as in­sin­u­ated by Ntate litjobo, then the crux of the ques­tion is; how do you stop Ntate Mo­sisili from be­com­ing an­other Mu­gabe? sadly no an­swer was prof­fered by Ntate litjobo.

here is nev­er­the­less only one way out. the mat­ter must be han­dled prop­erly and the cur­rent con­sti­tu­tional changes un­der­way at the be­hest of sadc of­fer an am­ple op­por­tu­nity to stop Mr size two, that is if the DC sup­port­ers are in­deed im­pa­tient with their leader.

We fol­low our own adapted style of the West­min­ster par­lia­men­tary style of democ­racy with our sov­er­eign King let­sie iii oc­cu­py­ing the helm. the ever pow­er­ful, ever glo­ri­ous, ever ven­er­a­ble Em­peror Kamoli oc­cu­pies the pow­er­ful apex, fol­lowed by the Prime Min­is­ter and the rest of the pack. this adapted West­min­ster tra­di­tion af­fords the Prime Min­is­ter un­lim­ited terms.

if the dis­grun­tled DC sup­port­ers men­tioned by Ntate litjobo in­deed want to cur­tail Ntate Mo­sisili’s reign and de­prive him of his well-de­served op­por­tu­nity to reign for 40 years or more, like his coun­ter­parts else­where in africa, then the best way of achiev­ing this is to stop ag­i­tat­ing for the re­turn of Cy­clone tom from lonely Ficks­burg. But to take ad­van­tage of the planned con­sti­tu­tional re­forms to limit the prime min­is­te­rial term to a max­i­mum two five-year terms. Some would say two four year terms.

this then needs the dis­grun­tled DC sup­port­ers to come out in the open and say so for them­selves. let­ting Ntate litjobo speak on your be­half, al­beit in his very muf­fled tones as he did in Pub­lic Eye won’t do the trick.

this is pre­sum­ably one item on which it will be easy to ob­tain the con­sen­sus of the op­po­si­tion. Cy­clone tom will be per­suaded to blow into Maseru from the Ficks­burg hide­out, cast his bal­lot in favour of this con­sti­tu­tional re­form and then blow back to Ficks­burg.

term lim­its are vi­tally im­por­tant for the progress of africa. But they can only come about if the masses de­mand them and en­sure that their lead­ers stick to them. they can also come about if those serv­ing in the se­nior struc­tures of po­lit­i­cal par­ties (that is peo­ple like Ntate litjobo) de­mand them pub­licly in a plain straight­for­ward lan­guage and not say so un­der the cover of “grass­roots sup­port­ers”.

if DC sup­port­ers are in­deed im­pa­tient with Ntate Mo­sisili as claimed by Ntate litjobo, then they are go­ing about de­mand­ing his quit­ting the wrong way. he might as well serve un­til he is 100.


PRIME Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili.

Dc Youth League chair­man Thuso Litjobo.

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