You were not clear Ntate Litjobo ….
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.