Africa-Press – Lesotho. Sesotho se re, u ka isa pere nokeng ho’a noa metsi. Ha feela e sa batle ho noa, ha ho seo u ka se etsang. The translation is; life is all about choices and we are all products of the choices we make.
I realise that this month marks exactly one year since the formation of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party. The news of the formation of the RFP brought a ray of sunshine. A ray of hope!
I tell you, around this time last year, it was evident that Mathibeli Mokhothu would be the next Prime Minister but the RFP rescued us from a potential catastrophe of epic proportions.
Ebe re ka be re le kae? Ke sure re ka be ntse re loana. However, now that the RFP is firmly in power, that ray is unfortunately starting to fade away.
Well, let me speak for myself. The euphoria is slowly starting to evaporate now that I see that the RFP has overpromised and is starting to under-deliver.
It wasn’t ready to govern. You see the problems started when the RFP failed to give an account on progress made in the first 100 days in office. Some people claim that it is actually 100 working days. So that excludes holidays and days that fall over the weekend. Friday is a half-day of course.
But why can’t the Minister of Communications say something on the promises made on first 100 days? Is it over? Is it in April? By the way, is Minister Mochoboroane the new Government spokesperson? When will the PM give an account on the first 100 days? We need a report.
Now what bored me the most was the recent budget speech. The message was just loud and clear. It clearly says this new administration undermines public servants.
I wish the government knew the level of debt that our public servants are currently swimming in. They are swimming in a pool of mud. They owe almost all machonisas in town because their salaries just cannot sustain their families.
Hence the high rate of corruption. People need to survive. Le nna nka utsoa Diesel ea mosebetsing. Le parts tsa literekere. Ho ja ke ne ke le mohlanka. If only!
If the RFP administration is adamant to maintain the status quo on ignoring the wellbeing of public servants, then it must just forget about service delivery. We’ll re-open this conversation after the 2027 elections.
But the thing that got me concerned was to see blunders our ministers made at the recently held conference/summit on Least Developed Countries in Qatar (‘Moka oa Naha tse itlhotseng).
Haai! The questions asked in that summit were quite difficult and one of our ministers was dribbled by one simple yet difficult question. The question said something like; what you need to do to, in order to catapult your country out of the ‘least developed’ status.
This was a very difficult question. It’s like asking an alcoholic an unfair question and say, “what do you need to do to quit alcohol”. Or a question a poor person, “what do you need to do to become to rich.
” Obviously these are questions that need deep introspection for one to deal with demons they could be avoiding. Yes, of course, this was a difficult question to answer for our ministers.
“What do you need to do to pull yourself out of poverty?” As I was watching this on Lesotho Television, my answer was, “Knowing Basotho, absolutely nothing.
” Why do I say this? When we were growing up in Mazenod Airport City, there was a gifted artist called Anikie.
Well, that was a nickname he used for cartoons he drew for Moeletsi oa Basotho. Ka motseng a tsejoa ka lebitso la Taliban. He was way older than us, e se e le abuti, and he was blessed with a very rare form of talent.
I tell you, he could just sit and start drawing and the end result would be a masterpiece. That man was blessed. But unfortunately, Anikie had a terrible habit that he had to feed and this habit just pulled him back.
He was an alcoholic and drank until he looked like an old man. By the way, did you see the new President of Nigeria? So, there were so many people that tried to intervene to save that precious talent.
I remember that even Major General Lekhanya sourced a scholarship for Anikie to study fine-arts in Germany. No, Anikie was not interested in that sh*t.
He just wanted to stay in Mazenod, paint a piece, sell it, buy alcohol and drink until he couldn’t pronounce his name. Start a new piece, sell it, drink until he forgot what the day of the week was.
This was a vicious cycle that just sank him. Anikie was addicted to his bad habits. No one could rescue him. Absolutely no one. I remember buying his last two art-pieces, before he departed, at an exhibition held at Morija Arts and Cultural Festival about 22 years ago.
No, that man was finished. The alcohol had turned him into an old man and he was probably 40-years-old then. But he looked like a 70-year-old man. No one could save that man from his bad habits.
He subsequently died after the art exhibition and I’ve kept those two art pieces for sentimental value. Well, I donated one to my sister but I’m thinking of repatriating it.
But the story of Anikie is exactly the same as the story of a country Lesotho. Blessed with abundance but held back by its bad habits. By the way, Anikie had a super talented younger brother named ‘Chipa’ but this ‘Chipa’ was a marathon runner.
Why the name Chipa for a runner still remains a mystery up to this day. So Chipa was a long distance marathon runner. That guy could run for kilometres on end and won various marathons in South Africa.
Yet again, Chipa had a terrible habit to feed. He would practise for a marathon. Win it. Drink the prize money. Be absolutely broke. Practise for the next marathon.
Win it. Drink the prize-money. Be absolutely broke. Practise for the next marathon. That was the cycle. Chipa was such an alcoholic that he missed his son’s funeral because he was busy drinking at one of the shacks near Basotho Canners.
How sad is that? Yes, like his brother Anikie, Chipa departed this world a broke and broken man. No one could help him. I felt sad when Chipa died because he was someone I related well with and was always pleased to see me.
So, this is a quagmire that Lesotho finds itself in. Lesotho is just addicted to its bad habits and no one can save it. I’m telling you, the Americans can pour all the money from American tax-payers into Lesotho’s economy.
But if the will to change is not there, no one can change Lesotho. The Chinese government can donate all sorts of landmark buildings. However, if the will to change is not there, nothing can change Lesotho.
The EU has poured millions towards reforms but there is simply no will from Basotho to leave their bad habits. Lesotho is a country that is not prepared to reform because it is addicted to its bad habits.
How is it possible for a country to be inside a belly of a country that budgets R2 trillion and only budget one percent of that? One percent of R2 trillion? Ha ke tsebe hore na ke bolehe hona kapa bo.
(feel free to complete the sentence).
Do you want to tell me that Lesotho can’t at the very least target to budget 10% of what South Africa budgets? Okay, let me say, five percent of which would translate to R100 million.
Re je mafoforetsane a South Africa. We don’t need to start anything afresh. Just pick and choose from what works and run with it. But no, there’s no will to change from the bad habits. Lesotho will never change unless its people sincerely change.
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