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Deliver on job promises



TWO weeks after Prime Minister Thomas Thabane was sworn-in, it is obvious that the dust from the June 3 snap election is beginning to settle.
With the elections now over, the focus should now firmly turn to issues of governance. The many issues crying out for immediate attention will mean Thabane will probably face the biggest test of his leadership acumen during his five-year term. The new Cabinet that was announced last week was obviously a result of lots of horse-trading. It was a result of compromises on the part of the coalition partners.

There is no doubt the new coalition government is facing massive challenges. In fact, we think there are basically two areas in which this government will be judged. The first issue relates to how it will handle the political side of matters and secondly how it will deal with the economy.
The political programme will focus on issues of restoring the issue of the rule of law and how it deals with matters of accountability.
This will also encompass the wider political reforms as recommended by SADC to stabilise Lesotho and ensure stability. Stability is a key component of national development.

The temptation would be for the new government ministers to pursue past vendettas against their foes. They must resist the urge to take this route.
We are sure the government will pursue the political, judicial and civil service reforms with much gusto.
On the other hand, the ordinary Mosotho on the streets will also be looking to see if the new government will impact his life for the better. He also wants to see an immediate transformation of his lot in life.

What every Mosotho wants is a job so that he can restore his personal dignity. He wants a job so that he can feed his own family. Voters sent the last government packing precisely because they felt it had failed to improve their lot in life, particularly on the issue of jobs.
This new government will be judged on the basis of how it improves the economy — the creation of decent jobs for the thousands of youths perambulating the streets of urban towns.

The majority of youths who voted in the last election are obviously in urban areas, the bastion of support for the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and its three allies.

These youths will not be placated by outlandish claims that the government will provide free primary education or old age pensions.
All they want are jobs. Unless the coalition government puts all its attention on job creation, it risks a massive backlash from youths at the next polls.
The air is already thick with expectation. The people are expecting that this coalition government will do better, which is a tall order. The government will need to deliver while managing expectations. But the biggest question is: How will the government create jobs in an economy that is almost comatose?

It is obvious that the government will need lots of foreign direct investment. Investors will however not come unless Lesotho fixes its politics.  Investors are looking for a safe investment destination. They want political stability to ensure their investments are safe.
That is why it is critical and urgent for the government to act quickly to restore confidence. This government will be judged on the basis of what it does on the economic front.

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