Bury the hatchet for na­tion’s sake

Lesotho Times - - Leader -

IT has been said when ele­phants fight, it is the grass that suf­fers most and nowhere is this truer than the present cir­cum­stances in this our beloved Moun­tain King­dom.

Not long ago, there were fes­tiv­i­ties and mer­ry­mak­ing as we cel­e­brated our golden ju­bilee of in­de­pen­dence with ex­hor­ta­tions to make the next 50 years a pe­riod of ac­cel­er­ated growth to en­sure eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity for all and sundry.

But no sooner had all the dig­ni­taries to our cel­e­bra­tions de­parted for their own coun­tries than our politi­cians from the Demo­cratic Con­gress (DC) started to tear at each other.

We have pleaded and re­mon­strated with lead­ers in the DC to bury the hatchet for the good of the coun­try but to no avail.

We how­ever hope that if they will not lis­ten to us and the rest of the coun­try, they will at least lis­ten to the voice of the church which has now taken up the task of urg­ing them to end the in­fight­ing which can only hem­or­rhage the coun­try es­pe­cially in eco­nomic terms.

As we re­port else­where in this edi­tion, church lead­ers un­der the Christian Coun­cil of Le­sotho (CCL) re­cently met rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the feud­ing DC fac­tions to call for an end to the in­fight­ing that has crip­pled the Na­tional Assem­bly and hence ser­vice de­liv­ery.

CCL Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Khosi Makubakube this week said the coun­cil met with DC of­fi­cials from across the fac­tional di­vide to make them “un­der­stand the grav­ity of the in­fight­ing in the party”.

“We have no in­ter­est in the po­lit­i­cal is­sues sur­round­ing the in­fight­ing or in me­di­at­ing in their in­ter­nal af­fairs. We are more con­cerned with how this in­fight­ing is crip­pling the over­sight func­tion of the Na­tional Assem­bly and af­fect­ing gov­ern­ment as well as its abil­ity to de­liver ser­vices to the gen­eral pub­lic,” said Mr Makubakube.

For weeks, the na­tion has been on the ten­ter­hooks, watch­ing as the two fac­tions traded blows. One day it would be the DC’S Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC) an­nounc­ing a pull­out from gov­ern­ment and on the next it would Dr Mo­sisili an­nounc­ing the sus­pen­sion of his es­tranged NEC col­leagues and calling a spe­cial con­fer­ence to dis­ci­pline the rebels and re­assert his con­trol of the party and gov­ern­ment.

And it is in­deed a show of bravado bor­der­ing on reck­less­ness es­pe­cially as the likes of deputy leader Monyane Moleleki has shown no qualms in declar­ing their in­ten­tion to hold the na­tional bud­get to ran­som in par­lia­ment if they do not get their way in their fight with Dr Mo­sisili.

It is ei­ther “my way or the high way” as the fac­tions strug­gle to the death, ex­hibit­ing the kind of brinkman­ship that can only end in dis­as­ter for the coun­try.

And in­deed that dis­as­ter which used to be thought of as an im­prob­a­ble mi­rage has mor­phed into a like­li­hood with dire con­se­quences.

There are real is­sues of ser­vice de­liv­ery that need to be ad­dressed and even more there is the ur­gent need to ad­dress hu­man rights and gov­er­nance is­sues that could scup­per our chances of re­main­ing among the na­tions ben­e­fit­ting from the African Growth and Op­por­tu­nity Act (AGOA) which al­lows us to make duty free ex­ports to the United States. Los­ing AGOA would be eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially dis­as­trous as it has helped cre­ate more than 40 000 di­rect jobs and many more through down­stream in­dus­tries. On 1 Jan­uary 2017, the US will de­cide if we meet the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria to keep ben­e­fit­ting and this in­cludes tack­ling gov­er­nance is­sues. But it would seem this is not on the list of our politi­cians’ pri­or­i­ties.

We once again urge the war­ring politi­cians not to wait un­til ir­re­versible dam­age has been done. Bury the hatchet for the sake of the coun­try please!

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