Thank You Ntate Sekata . . .

Lesotho Times - - Scrutator -

TO be a politi­cian is to de­velop a gen­er­ally frac­tious re­la­tion­ship with the truth. Which ex­plains why the great philoso­pher Henry Adams once tren­chantly com­mented that “prac­ti­cal pol­i­tics con­sists in ig­nor­ing facts”. Truth­ful politi­cians are as rare as a pink mon­goose.

It there­fore be­comes a huge source of re­lief when once in a while, we en­counter a truth­ful and hon­est politi­cian.

Ntate Teboho Sekata, the spokesman of the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD), is an hon­est politi­cian. Or at least he has elected to be hon­est on one crit­i­cal is­sue that has been vex­ing all and sundry.

At a press con­fer­ence in Maseru last week, Ntate Sekata con­firmed what we have all sus­pected but what no other politi­cian has had the au­dac­ity to ad­mit pub­licly; that King Kamoli is not go­ing to va­cate his crown as pro­posed by SADC. For this, I say thank you Ntate.

The LCD is a cen­tral player in the coali­tion gov­ern­ment. In fact it is the King­maker. Since our fairly ec­cen­tric elec­toral sys­tem is un­likely to pro­duce one out­right win­ner in the fore­see­able fu­ture, we can take it as given that the LCD will oc­cupy this King­maker role for some time to come. So, if it is the LCD’S view that King Kamoli stays put, we can take it as given that that view rep­re­sents the en­tire seven party coali­tion’s per­spec­tive as the coali­tion would im­plode with­out the LCD.

For all those who missed last week’s is­sue of the Le­sotho Times, this is what Ntate Sekata had to say in sum­mary; l Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli is here to stay and no amount of pres­sure would force the coali­tion to fire him.

• Lt-gen Kamoli would re­main head of the mil­i­tary un­til Le­sotho goes to the polls in 2020.

l If ex­iled op­po­si­tion lead­ers con­tinue in­sist­ing on Lt-gen Kamoli’s dis­missal as a pre­con­di­tion for their re­turn, then they might as well stay in South Africa for the next four years un­til the coun­try holds its next sched­uled gen­eral elec­tions.

l Civic groups that protested last week and de­manded speed­ier im­ple­men­ta­tion of SADC rec­om­men­da­tions were wast­ing their time.

The de­mand that King Kamoli va­cates his lofty crown is cen­tral to the rec­om­men­da­tions au­thored by the stub­born Jus­tice Mphaphi Phumaphi. The mighty King’s re­moval is “in the in­ter­est of restor­ing trust and ac­cep­tance of the Le­sotho De­fence Force to the Ba­sotho na­tion…….”, opined Jus­tice Phumaphi.

Bon­tate Mo­sisili, Mets­ing and Mokhosi, the Premier, Deputy Premier and De­fence Min­is­ter in that cor­re­spond­ing or­der have been coy and dif­fi­dent about ad­dress­ing this key is­sue.

When Ntate Mo­sisili grudg­ingly ac­cepted the SADC re­port and re­leased it to par­lia­ment in Fe­bru­ary, his ex­act words were; “A mere glance at some of the rec­om­men­da­tions in­di­cates that they are im­ple­mentable im­me­di­ately, whereas oth­ers will take time, and still oth­ers may not see the light of day.”

It was left to all and sundry to spec­u­late about which rec­om­men­da­tions may not see the light of day. But there could be no prizes for guessing that the pro­posal for the King to be de­throned was one such that could prob­a­bly never see the light of day.

Cu­ri­ous re­porters had tried to prod Bon­tate Mo­sisili, Mets­ing and Mokhosi to ex­plain if in­deed and when King Kamoli could be de­throned but to no avail.

We now know from Ntate Sekata that the King is go­ing nowhere and will re­main en­sconced in his im­pe­rial chair un­til the rivers start flow­ing up­wards in the moun­tains of Qacha. The only way to al­ter this re­al­ity is if a new gov­ern­ment ex­clud­ing the cur­rent coali­tion part­ners comes to power in 2020, ac­cord­ing to Ntate Sekata.

So, this is the re­al­ity we are faced with. Any at­tempts to dis­credit Ntate Sekata, in the man­ner that ABC spokesman Tefo Mape­sela, tried to do are very un­help­ful. In- stead let’s thank Ntate Sekata for putting us right into the brain of the coali­tion.

De­scrib­ing Ntate Sekata’s com­ments as un­for­tu­nate, Ntate Mape­sela de­manded that the gov­ern­ment ex­plains if it had man­dated the LCD to speak on its be­half.

“Sekata has no au­thor­ity to be say­ing all this. There were many rec­om­men­da­tions made by the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry so why does he think we are only in­ter­ested in this par­tic­u­lar one which calls for Kamoli’s re­moval?” queried Ntate Mape­sela.

My ques­tion to Ntate Mape­sela is sim­ple. Which planet have you de­scended from? Haven’t Un­cle Tom, Ntate The­sele and Aun­tie Keke made it clear that they will not re­turn from ex­ile un­til King Kamoli is no longer reign­ing at the LDF?

Tech­ni­cally Ntate Mape­sela is right that Ntate Sekata can­not speak for gov­ern­ment. But Ntate Sekata has ev­ery right to speak for his party and its po­si­tions in the rul­ing coali­tion.

The next crit­i­cal ques­tion is thus: What next for Le­sotho with King Kamoli here to stay?

Does this mean that na­tional rec­on­cil­i­a­tion will re­main elu­sive, with the op­po­si­tion lead­ers re­main­ing in ex­ile un­til 2020 or pre­sum­ably be­yond as the King is on the throne for the long haul? Does this mean Le­sotho keeps the mid­dle fin­ger against key in­ter­na­tional part­ners who have de­manded the LDF King’s ouster?

Does this mean that we tell SADC, which wants to see all the rec­om­men­da­tions im­ple­mented to go jump? Does this mean that we also re­pel the African Union (AU), which has now joined the band­wagon of de­mand­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions, to go and jump into the deep­est part of the very deep blue sea?

Does this mean that the op­po­si­tion lead­ers opt for per­ma­nent ex­ile and ba­si­cally for­feit their lead­er­ship roles of their parties?

What strat­egy can the op­po­si­tion and civic groups re­sort to to achieve the King’s ouster? Does this mean all those clam­our­ing for the King’s ouster should drop this de­mand and just fo­cus on im­ple­men­ta­tion of other rec­om­men­da­tions?

Iwel­come your an­swers to these ques­tions. My own po­si­tion on King Kamoli has al­ways been very clear. Le­sotho will be far bet­ter off if King Kamoli is sec­onded per­ma­nently to help the in­ter­na­tional coali­tion fight­ing Is­lamic State in Syria or al­ter­na­tively the Boko Haram Is­lamic ter­ror­ists?

Those ruth­less rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ists who de­cap­i­tate the heads of op­po­nents need their match? Who bet­ter to de­rail them than the King him­self?

With King Kamoli on that no­ble mis­sion, we can cre­ate room for na­tional heal­ing and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. When he fi­nally re­turns, we may have be­come a na­tion at peace with it­self.

Al­ter­na­tively, if the Rus­sians won’t see value in invit­ing the King to help them in the Isil war, a so­lu­tion can come from King Kamoli him­self by a sim­ple one sen­tence note ad­dressed to the Ba­sotho na­tion say­ing

“My fel­low coun­try­men, I seem to have be­come an al­ba­tross around the neck of this great na­tion.

“I am quit­ting vol­un­tar­ily to cre­ate space for di­a­logue needed to move this coun­try for­ward on con­di­tion that there are no re­crim­i­na­tions against me…….. yours Truly — King Kamoli The First.”

If that were to hap­pen, I prom­ise I will be the first in line to do­nate money for the King to go on a per­ma­nent hol­i­day in the Sey­chelles?

But since there is a bet­ter chance of you get­ting struck by light­ning than hav­ing any of these two op­tions hap­pen, Henry Adams is again right in defin­ing pol­i­tics as the sys­tem­atic or­gan­i­sa­tion of ha­treds.

Our coun­try cer­tainly faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture? For now, thank you Ntate Sekata for telling the truth. At least it helps all and sundry in cru­cial de­ci­sion mak­ing.

Ache!!!

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