Free revision for 2017 political tests
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).