Our own Clinton/trump show
WHAT a pity that the world does not know this Kingdom. We are having our own Trump/clinton show and we deserve to be the centre of world attention. But alas, no one seems to know or care about our tiny enclave. But I cannot imagine any better headline grabbing political drama than the war of attrition between Lirurubele and Lithope. It surely should be dominating the news casts at CNN and the BBC.
This is Lesotho’s own very Clinton/trump show. Except that ours is even more exciting. Even if the world is not paying attention.
The plot and cast are a bit different. Ours do not feature a man and woman from rival parties. It features two former allies from the same party. Both male. Ours is also not an ideological contest. It is a straight forward contestation of power.
Unlike the Trump/clinton show, which was laced with the most uncouth vitriol. Ours has been less hostile. But it now seems all that is now going to change with Lirurubele and Lithope having removed their gloves.
The Trump/clinton show is now over. The battle between Lirurubele and Lithope seems to have just started. Welcome to Lesotho’s own world of political skullduggery and shenanigans.
Welcome to the world of Pakalitha Mosisili aka Size Two and Monyake Moleleki aka Mokola.
Never in my life did I ever imagine I would live to see what is currently unfolding in the DC. It is both democracy and a high pitch circus at their very best. But unless this matter is resolved fast, it now threatens to imperil our existence.
The DC is not like any other insignificant political formation. It is certainly not the socalled Lesotho People’s Congress aka LPC or any other such tiny political entity owned by a husband, his wife and their two children. The DC is the single biggest political party in the country. Its current unravelling poses a severe threat to the national interest unless it’s concluded fast. By this, I simply mean that the DC should put its house in order yesterday and resolve its leadership issue now. Not tomorrow.
Along drawn out feud in the lead partner in the coalition government is not good for the country. It’s clear that Mokola’s strategy has been to slowly squeeze political life out of Mr Size Two in the hope that he will deploy his good conscience and resign as prime minister. This would then pave the way for Mokola to take charge of the DC and strengthen his hand in negotiations with Ntate Motsoahae, who is currently rubbing his hands with glee at the unfolding drama in the DC.
Ntate Motsoahae has been buying popcorn and taking his camp chair near the border every day to watch and enjoy the unfolding drama in the DC. It is exhilarating.
But it’s also true that for the good of the country, this problem must be resolved with finality. One thing is clear; the DC will never be the same again. From the monolithic giant and political powerhouse that it once was, the DC is now split right through the middle. Lirurubele and Lithope are not just prosaic nouns. They are real two separate distinct entities that seem irreconcilable.
What I fear is a long prolonged tussle between them that will harm the national interest (assuming we have ever defined one).
If Mokola’s strategy is to push Ntate Mosisili into a corner in the hope that he will voluntarily resign from office that will unfortunately not happen. Where have you ever seen an African leader voluntarily quitting office? This strategy is bad for it will only ensure a continuation of the current strife in the DC to the detriment of the national interest (again if we ever come to know what national interest means for us).
In the same vein, if Ntate Mosisili thinks he can ride the storm and ignore Mokola and his gang, and continue with a business as usual attitude, then Mr Size Two is very mistaken. The reality is that Ntate Mokola wants to become prime minister now. Now, now, now.
As we went to Press yesterday, Ntate Moleleki had confirmed that Ntate Mosisili would be hauled before the NEC and asked to show cause why he should not be suspended.
Ntate Mosisili on the other hand is adamant that he will call his own NEC meeting early December and suspend Mokola and his group.
Ooops, this matter has become serious. We need a resolution now, to quote Aaliyah.
My other greatest fear is that as this war of attrition continues, either side can end up doing silly things.
For instance, speculation has been rife that Ntate Mosisili wants to adopt a business as usual approach and replace the DC ministers who have resigned. In that replacement process, someone was heard suggesting that Ntate Mosisili want to appoint one Bokang Ramatšella as Minister of Justice.
Upon hearing this information, I tried to contact the great South African born Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Ellon Musk, to check when he intends to complete his project for expeditions to Mars.
Remember, Musk has already warned that his trips to Mars will be one way tickets to facilitate the deaths of those who want to perish in peace somewhere up there near the Lord. In other words, these are expeditions for those who want to reach heaven fast. When you get into Musk’s rover to Mars, you must know you are never coming back to earth.
With the social media speculation that Ntate Mosisili now wants to appoint Ramatšella, of the “Harrington is a spy” fame into his cabi- net, I immediately enquired about Ntate Musk’s one way expeditions. I would rather vanish to Mars quickly than live in a country in which Ramatšella is a minister. Surely Ntate Mosisili cannot sink his reputation that low even if these maybe his dying days (politically of course).
The fact remains that it’s not good for this DC feud to continue. It seems the odds are staked against Ntate Mosisili. When your party, or a significant portion of it, wants to suspend you as leader, then know you are in real trouble.
My advice to Ntate Mosisili has always been frank. The best way to resist the lure of power is to set it down. After 15 years as PM, surely why stress and continue. But such is power. What is now happening in the DC is a classic exemplification of power fatigue. A significant portion of the party is tired of the same leader. They want a change.
This does not mean that I am Lirurubele. No not at all. I have always emphasized that I am not a factionalist. But as I am a disciple of Mark Twain’s perennial dictum that “politicians are like diapers and need to be changed as often as possible”, I see no reason with calls for a new face.
I think Ntate Mosisili risks tainting his legacy if his aim is to emulate Robert Mugabe. If he allows leadership change and renewal, it will benefit him immensely. But the decision is his to make.
I don’t know if Ntate Moleleki will ever become prime minister. If Ntate Mosisili quits, and if Mokola does in fact become prime minister, I don’t know if he will be a good PM.
What’s clear for now is that we cannot afford a prolonged DC internal civil war. It must be resolved one way or the other by the party itself. The only two people who can resolve it are the two chief protagonists themselves.
If Ntate Moleleki fails to dislodge Ntate Mosisili, then it is better for Ntate Moleleki to move out and start a new political party. If he has the numbers that he claims to have, then we may not be able to avoid early elections.
Equally, if Ntate Mosisili wants to continue in office, it must be clear to him that he can no longer do it through the DC. He should equally replay 2012 and form another party.
The best way for Lirurubele and Lithope is to say their goodbyes and go into different directions. That will inevitably plunge us into new brought forward elections. I have no problem with that.
Aren’t we all politicians after all. The more frequent the elections the better. From the look of things, Ntate Mosisili has reached his political waterloo.
This whole matter is not fun. Let’s have the DC war resolved in one way or the other.
US President elect Donald J. Trump.