Free re­vi­sion for 2017 po­lit­i­cal tests

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HEAD­LINES, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive, about Le­sotho have reg­u­larly made rounds through print and broad­cast me­dia, po­lit­i­cal ral­lies, pit­sos and in fu­neral speeches.

Read­ers are in­vited to as­sess the rel­e­vance of the fol­low­ing se­lected men­tions I penned over time.

These are re­vis­ited be­cause Le­sotho has a fea­ture where one song gets sung re­peat­edly and all over again; re­gard­less of whether it is a bad or good song. Le­sotho is again vis­i­bly limp­ing out of 2016; with 2017 al­ready wait­ing with its more chal­leng­ing prac­ti­cal tests.

The for­mat of these re­peated lessons cites the les­son it­self, its date and the head­line un­der which it fea­tured. This is with some fear that his­tory is about to re­peat it­self:

i. “…there is a dif­fer­ence be­tween an op­po­si­tion which has the skill to op­pose and that which lacks the skill.” (23 Fe­bru­ary 2014: “The three old strange BAD fellows”).

ii. “…It is time Le­sotho stopped danc­ing the polka. We are a na­tion and not a cir­cus horse” (trained to gal­lop on the same spot un­til its han­dler com­mu­ni­cates with it ei­ther to stop or per­form oth­er­wise). (23 March: “Le­sotho must stop danc­ing the polka”).

iii. “… when par­lia­ment re­con­venes, it will be cre­at­ing a new ses­sion and that dead mo­tion (of no con­fi­dence…) can be brought forth afresh.” (30 March 2014: “Ef­fects of pro­ro­ga­tion of par­lia­ment”).

iv. “…The arith­metic and logic of a weak or eas­ily threat­ened ac­tor can eas­ily be turned up­side-down by harm­less in­ci­dents dur­ing sit­tings of the House.” (12 June 2014: “A case of mud­dling along”).

v. “. . . the for­ma­tion of a new coali­tion in the House will cost this (poor) na­tion just a No­tice Pa­per and the Or­der Pa­per… Dis­so­lu­tion(of parly) will re­quire Mil­lions of Ma­luti for the elec­tion.” (Sep.11-17, 2014 : “Gov­er­nance Struc­tures Go­ing in Cir­cles”).

vi. “…Many pre­dict Le­sotho will never ever have an ad­min­is­tra­tion of the kind dis­played by the ABC, LCD and BNP coali­tion. It is in such sit­u­a­tions that per­son­al­ity traits come into play.” (11 De­cem­ber 2014: “Lessons from failed 8th Par­lia­ment”).

vii. “The much talked about “government ush­ered by God (“Muso oa Molimo”) ruled for a short spell and ended un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously. The 9th Parly has to show some dif­fer­ence. Ob­vi­ous wrongs of the past have to be avoided and cor­rected…” (9 March 2015: “The 9th Par­lia­ment and Beyond”).

viii. “… Lessons from New Zealand may not be the best for Le­sotho be­cause NZ sys­tems are com­par­a­tively too com­plex and de­vel­oped…” (11 June 2015: “The nuts and bolts of deep­en­ing democ­racy”).

ix. “. . . from the (Bib­li­cal) read­ing of Gala­tians 6:7, “For what­so­ever man soweth, that shall he so reap… What­ever is ef­fected or done by man in the present, will have a di­rect ef­fect on what hap­pens later…dis­so­lu­tion of the 8th Par­lia­ment was an ef­fect of how the first coali­tion government han­dled is­sues of gov­er­nance…” (18 June 2015: “You reap what you sow”).

x. “…Re­mem­ber to do unto oth­ers as you would like them do unto you.” (do). xi. “When only par­lia­ment is in ses­sion, it is on ex­hi­bi­tion; When com­mit­tees are is ses­sion, par­lia­ment is at work.” (do).

xii. “There is a strong pos­si­bil­ity that there will… be an ad­di­tional de­scrip­tion (of Le­sotho) as an en­clave of South Africa with many cooks; or a never sta­ble democ­racy highly de­pen­dent of for­eign in­ter­ven­tions.” (19 Au­gust 2015: “Le­sotho democ­racy has too many cooks”).

xiii. “A Cabi­net sys­tem of gov­er­nance con­fers on the Prime Min­is­ter for­mi­da­ble re­spon­si­bil­ity as prin­ci­pal cen­tre of power. It is ex­actly this… that led to the col­lapse of the first coali­tion government.” (20 De­cem­ber 2015: “Un­der­stand­ing the Role of Par­lia­ment Bet­ter”).

xiv. “. . . the new phe­nom­ena of coali­tions and amal­ga­mated op­po­si­tion have their own new im­pact.

There is a po­ten­tial threat of change of heart while the boat is sail­ing mid-stream, at times end­ing up with the puppy hold­ing the bull­dog hostage…”(22 Jan­uary 2016: “Le­sotho Par­lia­ment Since 2010”).

xv. “…The ap­proach of the Hon. Speaker on those two oc­ca­sions (i.e. the op­po­si­tion’s in­sis­tence through end­less points of or­der that Jus­tice Phumaphi’s re­port ought to be pub­lished and not “tabled”… and by her ask­ing those op­po­si­tion MPS who al­leged not to have re­ceived its copies dur­ing dis­tri­bu­tion/tabling, to show by stand­ing up in the well dur­ing pro­ceed­ings, which they (sadly/un­wisely) did.

That was their way of con­don­ing the tabling they were chal­leng­ing) was a valu­able les­son in the eyes of those with knowl­edge of what has to be ex­pected of a World-class Pre­sid­ing Of­fi­cer… her right hand held (out) a suc­cu­lent car­rot (calm­ness, tol­er­ance etc.) which ac­tu­ally sent out a wrong sig­nal to the op­po­si­tion that they were likely to have their way.

It was only when the left hand un­leashed a stick that the op­po­si­tion re­al­ized the … con­se­quences of their un­re­hearsed per­for­mance in the House.” (18 Fe­bru­ary 2016: “Op­po­si­tion con­tin­ues to goof off”).

xvi. “Le­sotho is not pre­des­tined to al­ways be po­lit­i­cally un­sta­ble. Re­al­ity is that the coun­try only has two per­ma­nent en­e­mies: greed for po- lit­i­cal power and the kind of politi­cians who die to com­pete for that State power… (26 Fe­bru­ary, 2016: “Where were you in 1986?”).

xvii. “… The DC Deputy Speaker was a very good ex­am­ple: he un­ex­pect­edly sec­onded a mo­tion nom­i­nat­ing the name of a non-dc mem­ber to be Deputy Speaker of the 8th Par­lia­ment. Par­lia­ment is a fo­rum where the prin­ci­ple of give-and take has to be ob­served. (17 March 2016: “Truth nec­es­sary to achieve heal­ing”).

xviii. “There is value in the ex­is­tence of an op­po­si­tion in par­lia­ment… ex­pec­ta­tion is to see it play its role con­struc­tively…there is a strong need to change its/their pol­i­tics of con­fronta­tion.”that ren­ders them to fit the spoil­ers’ la­bel. (19 May 2016: “Di­rect ac­tion (toyi-toy­ing etc) and its use­ful­ness”).

xix. “…Ba­sotho de­serve to be cured. Who, ac­tu­ally, can presently be pinned down as re­spon­si­ble for the pro­mo­tion of na­tional unity? Who car­ries the blame for fail­ure in this re­gard?” (16 June 2016:- “Le­sotho: A na­tion un­der threat”; which rec­om­mended cre­ation of a Com­mis­sion of Na­tional Unity and Co­he­sion).

xx. “Na­tion build­ing de­serves to be an­other area in which a sit­ting government may wish to be judged at elec­tion time”; just like any ser­vice de­liv­ery. [do].

xxi. “… democ­racy is a com­mod­ity of many shapes. Its shape is de­pen­dent on how it is han­dled…” (14 July 2016: “Echoes from old foot­prints).

xxii. “… A close watch of the chem­istry of the two groups (Lithope and Liru­rubele) re­veals a lot; em­pha­siz­ing the need for both to close ranks and de­velop a com­mon sense to rid the DC of the chaos lurk­ing in us as its mem­bers…

Those an­tag­o­nis­tic for­ma­tions (to please) bury their hatch­ets and all be win­ners for the in­tegrity of our DC”. (6 Oc­to­ber 2016: “Ode to beloved Demo­cratic Congress”- The best these two groups could do is rec­on­cile and be guided, on their way for­ward, by their con­sti­tu­tional for­mal­i­ties at pre­scribed times).

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