Open let­ter to the prime min­is­ter

Lesotho Times - - Opinion & Analysis -

RIGHT Hon­ourable Prime Min­is­ter, let me first humbly re­quest your in­dul­gence to ad­dress you as Your Ex­cel­lency, if only to pre­serve space in this let­ter. Sec­ond, this might ap­pear a bit un­con­ven­tional and bor­der­ing on the pre­sump­tu­ous, kindly ex­er­cise your pre­rog­a­tive to con­sider this open let­ter as a gen­uine un­pre­ten­tious at­tempt to bring to the fore is­sues of na­tional im­por­tance that surely need your ur­gent at­ten­tion and in­ter­ven­tion.

This un­prece­dented move is also ne­ces­si­tated by my gen­uine re­al­iza­tion that ow­ing to your un­doubted ex­cel­lent aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions, gen­uine de­sire to pro­mote the wel­fare of the en­tire Ba­sotho na­tion and no doubt, your gen­uine de­sire, Your Ex­cel­lency, to get the at­ti­tude of us, the man in the street and their ilk, on is­sues of na­tional im­por­tance.

No doubt, ow­ing to the mag­ni­tude of your huge re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, on mat­ters of state, you might not have the time to read this morsel of ad­vice.

How­ever, I have no doubt again that be­cause you have around you tech­nocrats of huge ex­per­tise who are paid specif­i­cally from the na­tional purse to ad­vice Your Ex­cel­lency, when mat­ters go awry, they will, if you hap­pen to miss this cor­re­spon­dence, have the temer­ity to bring it to your at­ten­tion so that you may act upon it.

Your Ex­cel­lency will re­al­ize that, also with the ad­van­tage of abun­dant ex­pe­ri­ence in the high­est of­fice in the land, the ten­ure of min­is­ters in his Majesty’s gov­ern­ment de­pend on Your Ex­cel­lency’s plea­sure. By ex­ten­sion, you have ev­ery right to bring to order any min­is­ter who fails to ex­e­cute his man­date and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for the ben­e­fit of this na­tion and there­fore erodes the con­fi­dence of the na­tion in Your Ex­cel­lency’s ef­forts.

Your Ex­cel­lency, I am for­ti­fied in this view by my read­ing of sec­tion 87 (3) and (4) of the Con­sti­tu­tion which states that: “There shall be, in ad­di­tion to the of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter such other of­fices of the Min­is­ter of the Gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho (not be­ing less than seven in num­ber and one of which shall be the of­fice of Deputy Prime Min­is­ter) as may be es­tab­lished by Par­lia­ment or, sub­ject to any pro­vi­sions made by Par­lia­ment, by the King, act­ing in ac­cor­dance with the ad­vice of the Prime Min­is­ter”.

“The King shall, act­ing in ac­cor­dance with the ad­vice of the Prime Min­is­ter, ap­point the other Min­is­ters from among the mem­bers of the Na­tional As­sem­bly or from among the Sen­a­tors who are nom­i­nated by the King un­der sec­tion 55 of this Con­sti­tu­tion.”

Thus, the only per­son, Your Ex­cel­lency, who can rein-in min­is­ters if they go over­board or are plain in­com­pe­tent by sleep­ing on the job, is your­self.

Your Ex­cel­lency, there is this saga of the Le­sotho Na­tional Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (LNDC), wherein the re­spon­si­ble min­is­ter is hav­ing an ex­tended pub­lic spat with the en­tire Board of Di­rec­tors in­clud­ing the Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary of his min­istry.

All of us know that the LNDC is the in­vest­ment and trade flag­ship of the Le­sotho gov­ern­ment, a be­he­moth that Your Ex­cel­lency heads.

There­fore, lit­er­ally thou­sands of jobs of Ba­sotho de­pend on a seam­less LNDC that is at peace with it­self and has in­ter-cor­po­rate re­la­tions that are as calm as the Dead Sea, if you ex­cuse my French.

In ad­di­tion, rep­utable in­ter­na­tional credit rat­ings agen­cies, Stan­dard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, have in re­cent months, down­graded Le­sotho’s credit rat­ings thereby in ef­fect warning in­ter­na­tional in­vestors about com­mit­ting their in­vest­ment into our frag­ile un­trust­wor­thy econ­omy.

Nat­u­rally, the LNDC, as your gov- ern­ment’s in­vest­ment arm, ought to be at the fore­front of restor­ing, and so­lic­it­ing for­eign in­vestors’ con­fi­dence in our frag­ile econ­omy.

The LNDC saga, with­out a doubt, re­quires you to bring the war­ring par­ties to order, whether col­lec­tively or sep­a­rately.

I do not doubt your abil­i­ties and lead­er­ship qual­i­ties. How else can you be the long­est-serv­ing demo­crat­i­cally-elected Prime Min­is­ter if you did not have these qual­i­ties in abun­dance.

Tell them in no un­cer­tain terms that Le­sotho is far big­ger than them. That this im­pov­er­ished na­tion de­serves bet­ter.

That the LNDC is the ful­crum around which Le­sotho’s for­mal econ­omy re­volves. I hold in high re­gard the min­is­ter and prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary, con­sid­er­ing their un­doubted track record and pro­files in the fields of com­merce, fi­nance and re­lated fields, in­ter­na­tion­ally at that.

To jus­tify these ap­point­ment by Your Ex­cel­lency, it is worth men­tion­ing that this min­is­ter (which you no doubt con­sid­ered in ap­point­ing) has in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence and qual­i­fi­ca­tion as the Spe­cial Ad­vi­sor to the for­mer chief of the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund.

This is no lesser in­flu­en­tial job and re­spon­si­bil­ity by any stan­dards, let alone in­ter­na­tion­ally, where the bar is even raised higher and the pool of can­di­dates is much wider. He is there­fore with­out doubt a man of great ex­per­tise and a highly ed­u­cated ex­pert in his own right.

His PS, with his en­tire Board, is a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive of a ma­jor com­mer­cial bank in South Africa, for both these ex­perts to hold these lofty po­si­tions, Your Ex­cel­lency, says a lot about their cre­den­tials, ca­pa­bil­i­ties as well as their qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

With­out a doubt, they are there­fore ca­pa­ble of lead­ing the LNDC and there­fore cre­ate a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for in­vestors into our frag­ile econ­omy.

Your Ex­cel­lency, there­fore, I urge you to bring them to order. Make them aware that their egos have to take a back seat to the big­ger na­tional in­ter­est.

If this saga is not stopped and am­i­ca­bly set­tled soon­est this un­doubt­edly will fur­ther wreck Le­sotho’s bat­tered econ­omy.

For­tu­nately, as you are an avid Chris­tian, re­fer them to Mark 3:24-25, which says: If a king­dom is di­vided against it­self, that king­dom can­not stand. If a house is di­vided against it­self, that house can­not stand”.

In ef­fect the moral be­hind these sem­i­nal words is that an in­sti­tu­tion that is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in­fight­ing is in­evitably des­tined for self­de­struc­tion and ut­ter ruin.

Ut­loang Ka­jeno

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