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Majoro must seize control



THE new coalition government led by Dr Moeketsi Majoro is coming at a time when trust in politicians is at its lowest ebb. With that disappointment still fresh in their minds, Majoro faces a big battle in convincing Basotho that he is cut from a different cloth. The last three years of Thomas Thabane’s reign as Prime Minister were a big letdown as his government, which was almost on auto-pilot, went from one major policy mis-step to another. Thabane’s government had lost its moral compass. And when Thabane eventually resigned as Prime Minister last week there was a collective sigh of relief from weary Basotho who had grown tired of his antics. Majoro must therefore seize control and show that he is now the new sheriff in town. Of course that does not mean that he must adopt macho tactics and railroad his views within the coalition. He will still need to consult extensively with his new coalition partners. We watch with baited breath to see how Majoro will manage relationships within the coalition. He must remain humble and listen to the divergent opinions of his coalition partners. Majoro will need some deft skills to run a government that has divergent interests and management styles. With so many parties forming the coalition government, we would not be surprised if the leaders start competing amongst themselves, with an eye on the next general elections in 2022. But that would be sad and counter-productive. The new Cabinet must get on with the business of running government and forget about electioneering for once. We know that Majoro’s rise to the top was not without controversy. His All Basotho Convention (ABC) party was bitterly divided over the succession issue. As a compromise candidate, Majoro remains vulnerable to hawks within his party. To silence this angry gang, Majoro must deliver on his major promises. With just less than two years before the next election, Majoro must streamline his targets and deliver on these. He must look to stabilise and grow the economy. He must create jobs for thousands of Basotho. He must deal decisively with corruption. And lastly he must roll back poverty. Majoro, with a doctorate in economics, appears to have the intellectual gravitas and clarity of thought to drive Lesotho’s developmental agenda. But he will not manage to accomplish anything on his own. He will need a solid team to push that agenda. Thabane’s government squandered three years through bitter infighting. The government that Majoro leads must not be a fire-fighting government. It must focus on delivery. There will be individuals within his ABC party who will seek to arm-twist him. These must be resisted. As we have argued in previous editorials, the government must embark on an aggressive campaign to market Lesotho as a tourism and investment destination. We also believe we have not done enough to sell this country as a tourism destination. The current efforts have not made any serious dent in pushing Lesotho, with its jaw-dropping beauty, as a tourism Mecca. With 57 percent of Lesotho’s 2 million people living in rural areas, it would be prudent on the part of the government to boost the rural economy. Majoro must bin the draconian legislation that stifles the rural economy such as the wool and mohair regulations that were so hated by Lesotho’s farmers. Lastly, Majoro’s government must successfully complete the reforms, stop the madness in the judiciary and allow the police to do their work. There must be no sacred cows.  

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