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Don’t vote for empty promises



As I was walking along a dusty street named Kingsway, about two weeks ago, I happened to spot a face I hadn’t seen in ages. It was Ntate Dan and in my mind I said, “Hey, there is Likeleli’s father.”

I went to primary school with Ntate Dan’s daughter named Likeleli so I have always known him as Likeleli’s father. I laughed a bit when I saw Ntate Dan because I got a flashback of a very funny story that happened in primary school.

So, Likeleli was one of those students that arrived for school at around 08:10 when class had already started. Ten past eight without fail. Ntate Dan’s gold Toyota Corolla would arrive with a loud roar. It had a very distinct three-litre sound. Roooaar!

We almost all knew that every time we heard the roar that, yes, it’s Likeleli’s father. So, our class teacher, Mrs Bertha got so irritated one day with this ‘late-coming-tendency’ of Likeleli and her father and made a stern warning.

Mrs Bertha said and in a very simplistic English, “Tell your father to stop bringing you late for school.” Likeleli replied and said, “Yes teacher.”

I was one of those students that sat next to the teacher. Not because I was the smartest but because of other reasons. So, when I heard, “Yes teacher” from Likeleli, it just made me look forward to the next day.

And indeed the next day arrived. We all sat in class and Mrs Bertha started the class proceedings as per standard. However, Likeleli was absent, as per standard.

Ten minutes into the session of the first class, in came the roar! And this time it was louder than ever. I think the driver was really stepping on the accelerator, this time, more than the standard.

It was Likeleli’s father and we looked at Mrs Bertha’s face. Hmmm! In came Likeleli, huffing and puffing trying to catch her breath. Mrs Bertha looked at the door with a very serious face and guess what Likeleli said. “Sorry teacher, my father’s car was in an accident” (e chaisitse).

Jeeerrr! You should have heard my laughter. Mrs Bertha looked at poor Likeleli and shook her head and even before she could finish the accident story, she said, “Sit down.” No empathy, nothing!

We all started chuckling. Re khanngoe ke litšeho. But as an adult, I thought, man, Mrs Bertha just knew that the story wasn’t authentic. It wasn’t plausible. Of course, we all heard the roar of the car outside.

And this is the case with our politicians. They just say things without even thinking. They just make promises that are not logical. I mean, how do you promise the electorate to build a new international airport in Mafeteng? What about a new railway station in Mafeteng? Why not promise a new university in Mafeteng (University of Mafeteng). That’s more logical.

Our people need to vote with open minds and not vote for empty promises. Vote with logic and not emotions. But do you realise that Mohlomi Hospital might have to increase its bed capacity on the 10th of October 2022?

Think about it. Most pharmacies might have to stock up on anti-depressants from the 10th October due to the election results that would have gone up-side-down from what was anticipated.

Remember what happened to the Alliance of Democrats (AD) in the 2017 general election. Ea itsoela ka lebatooa le le leng (It won only by one constituency). One! After running a highly colourful and massive campaign.

Truly speaking, the October 7th election results might take most people by surprise and I would highly advise some of the RFP supporters to think of a scenario where they would have to lead an opposition in the 11th parliament.

It is called scenario planning and it is based on a lot of ‘what if’s’. Le hle le ikente. Le ipehe hantle (You should start accepting it now and calm your minds).

Why do I say that? Some of ‘us’ thought the ABC (All Basotho Convention) would win the 2007 general election only to have a big egg on our face. The ABC only walked away with 14 constituencies but their campaign was massive. ‘Toala’ was stronger than ‘Moruo!’

Now, fast forward to 2017, exactly ten years later from the 2007 general elections, the ABC scooped a staggering 51 constituencies.

Now, let’s paint a scenario. What if the ABC performs dismally in the coming elections and lose 50% of its constituencies, where does it place it? At around 26 constituencies. I think that’s a more plausible scenario because the ABC is still strong on the ground. Hee ABC e ntse e le matla haholo. Don’t underestimate it.

However, the Democratic Congress is now stronger than ever.

I think it can go as high as scooping 37 constituencies. 26 +37 = 53!

Now, if Basotho Action Party (BAP) comes up with 10 seats of which I think is highly likely to happen it gives us a scenario where: 26+37+10 = 63. 63!

And I haven’t included MEC in the equation with possibly 5 seats and BNP with 2 seats, haai, Hee BNP e hula ka boima (the BNP is struggling. My final prediction works out to: 26+37+10+5+2= 70.

By the way, I watched the leader of MEC on LTV and he impressed me. He speaks a lot of sense.

I was highly impressed. But somehow, what he says never really translates to votes and I always wonder why. Is it because of age or a cloud of treason charges hanging above him? It never makes sense because the guy is brilliant.

In any case, we are highly likely to have a coalition of five political parties to lead the next government. Nothing new. Just jockeys exchanging the same old tired and hungry horses.

The big question is, would Sam Matekane accept defeat and be a leader of opposition?

Would he endure a full five-year term as an opposition leader? It could work out to his advantage and give him some time to learn the ropes. He would make a good opposition with the Socialist Revolutionary (SR).

But above everything else, I am so eager to see a government led by Mokhothu and Nkaku Kabi as a deputy PM. What a combination!

No, not because I’m expecting a tender but I think it would be refreshing to see a prime minister that is 45 years old. Seriously, start thinking of a scenario where Mathibeli Mokhothu is a Prime Minister of Lesotho at the age of 45. However, my fear is that this could go in either direction.

Too much power at a young age could lead to catastrophic results. It could result in arrogance and abuse of power. On the flip-side, we could see fireworks because of a strong determination to prove that young people are indeed capable.

We are yet to see the kind of Prime Minister Mokhothu will make but he has to remember that history will judge him well if he performs well or judge him harshly if he performs dismally. History will be the ultimate judge.

But should Professor Mahao risk his reputation by being part of the possible incoming coalition government? Look, like I said last week, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride for the next government due to lack of resources.

The incoming government may struggle to render basis services due to poor cash-flows and extremely poor revenue collection.

By the way, talking about revenue collection, I still fail to understand a logical reason why the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) was rebranded to Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL). It’s even a tongue twister. It doesn’t make sense at all.

Rather create an acronym named ReSeLe so that we’re able to pronounce it better.

I would have thought the LRA would have placed strong emphasis on boosting revenue collection due to dwindling revenue collections and revenue sources. How big is the pool of PAYE tax-payers? It would be interesting to find out.

Look, Botswana through the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) targets to collect a whopping P46.3 Billion Pula (62 Billion Maloti), in the 2022/2023 financial year.

Whilst LRA/RSL could only fetch 7.5 Billion Maloti in the 2022/2023 financial year.

This means the economy of Botswana is eight times bigger than that of Lesotho. Eight times, not six! Eight!

So the BURS aims to collect an equivalent of 62 Billion Maloti and we only think of changing our name. Guys come on! 62 Billion!

What happened to us? Ke tsona litla-morao tsa bosoasoi bona ba lipolitiki (these are the consequences of these excuses of politics).

You know, I don’t know how to over-emphasise this issue. The strength of an economy is only as strong as its tax revenue collection ability.

A week tax revenue collection translates directly to a weak government due to inability to render services.

It takes money to deliver services. You can have the strongest will and the best manifesto on the planet but at the end of the day, it takes money to deliver basic services (education and health-care).

So, my question still stands: Is Professor Mahao prepared to risk his reputation by being part of a government that is unable to buy Panado for various public hospitals and clinics?

My analysis is that the electorate is very desperate and very impatient. The incoming government could last for two years in power. The electorate will not stomach nonsense for a very long time.

That’s my analysis and prediction. You are free to send your opinion and analysis to the managing editor here at

I am not pre-empting anything but only speculating on what we observe on the ground. But do you now see the reason why pharmacies have to stock up on antidepressants come the 10th of October 2022?

‘Mako Bohloa

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