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Hold leaders to account



The reason why we are unable to move forward as a nation is because of a lack of enforced accountability from those in government.
When a child misbehaves, discipline from a parent does not equate to hatred. On the contrary, it is amicable because the child will know the difference between right and wrong; something that will be useful in the future.
The reason why there is a currently profound leadership crisis within the largest liberation movement in Africa, the ANC, is that a significant preponderance of the members of the organisation are beginning to question the status quo.
These internal rifts are rejected by those in the receiving end of the criticism mainly because they are far more effective than any criticism emanating from the opposition.
Our people on the other hand do not have the political maturity to hold their own leaders to account. Supporting a leader or a regime often means an agreement with everything that the regime does.

In other words, if I support party X, I am obliged to agree with every policy or decision made by the party even if I disagree with those decisions. This is wrong. Disagreeing with a decision as a party member should be normative and not be misconstrued as rebellion or betrayal.
This is what mature democracies practice in their parliaments and it is what we should adhere to instead of killing each other. President Donald Trump has been unable to implement many of his promises during his presidential campaign because members of his own party have opposed his proposed bills by voting against him in Congress.

In a Facebook status last week, a young person asked where the funds for the Prime Minister’s wedding came from. I bet this is a question that most people were asking themselves.
Anyway, another person responded to the status by saying that the individual who wrote the status was being jealous of the auspicious occasion.
This comment made me realise that we still have a long way to go as a nation. The worst part of the whole thing was that it was a young person’s views.
Perhaps this type of loyalty is what keeps dictators in government for decades because of the inability to separate the emotional attachment towards a leader and the quality of their governance.
The outgoing President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola is one such President who managed to stay in power for 38 years. During his tenure, it is reported that citizens and opposition leaders have been terrorised and arrested for challenging his rule.

His daughter, Isabel dos Santos is the richest woman in Africa according to Forbes, wealth amassed through several state owned companies including the state owned oil company Sonangrol of which she heads after being appointed by his father.
Dos Santos’ other children have also acquired wealth in state owned companies from oil and finance to entertainment.
Analysts argue that although he has now retired, he will continue to have economic and political influence through his children and also within his party , MPLA which will be headed by Joao Lourenco, the former defence minister.
Notwithstanding the poverty in the country, Angolans continue to support the ruling party, demonstrating a high level of loyalty even though the wealth from the oil boom in Angola has failed to trickle down to the less fortunate people.
My argument is that a country does not get to this point overnight. While opposition leaders and the media oppose decisions made by the ruling party, usually this does not amount to enough pressure.
It is the prerogative of the members of the ruling party constituting MPs and other government officials who have been elected to office by the people, to make decisions that are in the best interest of the electorate and the future of the country.
Failure to hold their own leaders to account will result in problems such as the continuous misappropriation of state resources, cancellation of parliamentarian loans and dubious appointments of personnel that Lesotho is facing in the expense of the already fragile economy.
The opposition and other pressure groups can only do so much. It is time to truly work for the people without fear or favour.

Thato Mokhothu-Ramohlanka

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