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A self-serving agenda



WE note with utter dismay and puzzlement the latest moves by some MPs to press ahead with a motion of no-confidence against the government led by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro. Leading the putsch this time is Mokhotlong MP and leader of the Basotho Patriotic Party (BPP), Tefo Mapesela, a close ally who has now turned into a bitter foe for Majoro. Over the last few weeks, Mapesela has slowly built a “coalition of the wounded” against Majoro. Now that the disgruntled MPs have coalesced around him, he is now going for the jugular. MPs from Mapesela’s former political home, the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Alliance of Democrats (AD), have ganged up with Mapesela and are now pushing the no-confidence motion. They want Majoro to be replaced by AD leader Monyane Moleleki, a politician some see as way past his sell-by date. The rebels have been boisterous claiming they have the numbers to get Majoro out. However, without allowing the process to proceed in parliament, it might be premature for any of these politicians to start claiming early victories. But this is nothing new. We have seen this template being played out, time and time again here in Lesotho. And the results have been the same: the more things change, the more they stay the same in Lesotho. While this political drama is playing itself out, we note that a general election is only less than 12 months away. Any attempt to oust Majoro now will hurt Lesotho and her people. We, at thepost hold no brief for Majoro. However, we still think the move to oust him is not only badly timed but is highly misguided. Why not allow the man to finish his term and take him on during the next election? But it would appear Mapesela and his group are in haste to get Majoro out. This of course has nothing to do with governance issues. It has nothing to do with how Majoro has executed his duties as Prime Minister. It would appear this is all about the next elections after all and the power of incumbency. Mapesela and his group want to be in control of the levers of power when the next election takes place. They want to be in control of state resources. They want to be in government so that they can be able to parcel out jobs to their cronies. That is why we have all this noise. With Lesotho in election mode, we know that all developmental projects will be on pause. Majoro and his Cabinet ministers are all now in campaign mode, desperate to hold on to power. He would want a fresh term to leave a mark on Lesotho as the Prime Minister who rescued the country from the brink by ushering in political reforms. Majoro is therefore desperate to win a fresh term. He is likely to cut deals with anyone to stay at the helm. But with his political base badly fractured by factional fights, it would be a big ask if his ABC were to retain power at the next elections. The party will likely struggle to come up with a message that will resonate with the electorate. The ABC was swept into power in 2017 on the back of promises of change. It appears it has squandered that opportunity after former premier Thomas Thabane was implicated in the murder of his former wife, Lipolelo Thabane. We do not think the party will successfully cleanse itself of that mud anytime soon.

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