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Cabinet too lean for effectiveness



Let’s not confuse efficiency with effectiveness. What do I mean? Have you ever wondered why certain vehicles have one-litre engines and some are powered by 6.3 litre, V8 engines?

It’s because the objectives are different. The one-litre engine is centred around efficiency (getting to point B with the least amount of fuel), whilst the 6.3-litre engine is all about power and getting from point A to point B as fast as possible (effectiveness). See the difference?

Now, here is my question: what is the objective of a lean RFP cabinet? Is it all about saving money or achieving and reaching goals (effectiveness)? Whilst you scratch your head to seek an answer, allow me to ask you two interesting questions.

Which organ is the most important in a human body? Secondly, which vegetable has the highest nutritional value/content?

Now, let’s talk about the new appointments. I witnessed major flaws with the structure of the new cabinet based on how most of the ministries have been combined.

In my opinion, I think the cabinet has been trimmed a bit too lean for effectiveness. Look, it’s like trying to run fast in very tight jeans. In short, this cabinet should be nick-named potsotso or ’muso oa potsotso. It’s too tight for comfort.

Here is my point. The cabinet ministers/portfolios should have been reduced to 20 instead of a lean team of 15 ministers.

This should have been done based on the most pressing matters on the ground. For instance, a ministry such as police and public safety should have been retained and strengthened.

Secondly, I strongly advocate for a Ministry of Environment, Water and Forestry. Whether we like it or not, climate change is a reality. This Ministry would be highly relevant due to the rampant threat to wetlands and an ever-growing scarcity of water.

I believe that the next Russia and Ukraine war will be between South Africa and Lesotho and the fight will be over water. Not now, but sometime in the future when I’m 60-years-old.

Remember that Namibia has already been to Lesotho (recently) to voice its concern on the diminishing flow of water in the Senqu River. Senqu is not as strong as it used to be and this has to worry us.

Thirdly, the Ministry of Sports should have been combined with Tourism because there are very strong synergies. I wrote this piece in preparation to run the Soweto marathon. The marathon always brings massive economic spin-offs to businesses in Soweto.

Fourthly, Ntate Matekane should’ve placed a strong emphasis on the Ministry of Social Development and Social Security. Jesus! As I mentioned in one piece sometime last year, I once had a conversation with Ntate Robert Likhang on the level of poverty, desperation and malnutrition in Lesotho. A huge percentage of the population faces poor nutrition/malnutrition.

This reminds me of an incident that happened when my brother Tumisang was ordained a Catholic priest, sometime last year. The whole village was there to witness the ordination in Mazenod. Le bo Ntate Molumo (Sound) ba le teng.

During the celebrations, I decided to walk to my car to grab some presents. As I was walking, I saw an old man and greeted him. “Lumela Ntate Moholo.” The old man replied back and said, “Sho da Makos. A ko mphe ponto da ntoana.” I looked back in amusement, in my mind thinking, “Why is this grandfather speaking like this.”

As I looked closely, I realised that, this was a guy I grew up with. “Hee banna, haeka ke Stoko motho eo.” Yes, he was a bit older but damn, that guy looked so old.

Unfortunately this is the story of our lives. Anywhere you go or anytime you watch LTV news, you are bound to see impoverished people ka litjale thekeng and these people need urgent salvation, more especially, the hungry kids.

It’s time we implement a social security grant but this can be achieved at the back-bone of a fun named Loti Development Fund. I’ll elaborate more on how it can be implemented.

So, the point I’m trying to make here is that we need a strong Ministry of Social Development. It should be combined with women’s affairs because of the scourge of GBV and towards children.

Possibly throw in youth development here and there. There are strong synergies in those elements. Hon Moorosi would be highly suitable for this portfolio.

Point number five: If there’s a ministry that needs to be implemented ‘by fire, by force’ is a ministry named Economic Development, Planning and Monitoring. Look, this has to be one of our star ministries and I had hoped that Dr Matlanyane would take over this important portfolio.

On hindsight, I think Dr Matlanyane would be better suited at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She looks like a ‘Diplomat’ and someone that would represent the country extremely well internationally.

Ka nnete I strongly disagree with the appointment of my good friend Lejone Mpotjoane (Ntate Minister Mpotjoane) at Foreign Affairs and disagree with the appointment of Dr Matlanyane at Finance. Let me tell you why,

Let’s talk about Hon Mpotjoane. Yes, it’s good to empower young people but I disagree with this appointment. As a relatively young person, Lejone has been thrown into the deep-end even before he could learn how to swim.

Foreign Affairs is a very, very, very serious portfolio and needs people who have been in the game before. Hence the suggestion of Dr Matlanyane.

You know, I found the appointment surprising because Lejone is passionate about corporate governance. I mean, you can have a conversation with Lejone at any given moment and he’ll start talking passionately about corporate governance.

This man should’ve been deployed to the Ministry of Trade and start enforcing compliance when it comes to the Companies Act. Look, our companies run amok. Ke ha tali.

Our parastatals and public entities never publish financial results. When was the last time LEC and WASCO published their financial results? Yet they ask for tariff increases from consumers on a yearly basis. What happened to transparency to consumers?

Now, in my view the finance portfolio should’ve been headed by Hon Mohlomi Moleko. As I said about two weeks ago, we need a person from a finance background at the Ministry of Finance, instead of an economist.

We need a number cruncher. We need someone that understands the basics of debit and credit, in order to clean the rot in our ministries.

Lastly, I think Hon Moteane, should’ve been deployed to the Ministry of Local Government and Hon Lephema deployed to Mineral Resources and Energy.

We are at a juncture where Local Government needs to be re-imagined. Our urban-planning is nothing but, ‘ess, eich, eye, tea’. Ntate Moteane would come in handy to clean the mess in the planning department at MCC.

We also need to establish fully-fledged municipalities in Maputsoe, Butha-Buthe, Mokhotlong and Mafeteng. I’ll elaborate why next time.

Lastly, this piece was intended to delve deeper in the Ministry of Health. No, Hon Mochoborane is completely misplaced there.

He should’ve gone to Trans-Comms (Transport and Communications) because performed exceptionally well during his stint at Communications. The Transport (Roads) portfolio just needs an aggressive person like Hon Mochoboroane. A pusher!

The Ministry of Health should’ve been named, Ministry of Health and Nutrition and focus on our biggest challenge: Nutrition.

‘Mako Bohloa

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