Connect with us


Matekane will shake the base



THE announcement by Sam Matekane this week that he was launching a new political party will likely shake Lesotho’s political base as we knew it before. But very few people saw this coming. That is because for many years, Matekane had painstakingly cultivated an image of an astute businessman who was content to play just on the margins of the political arena as a benefactor. From time to time, Matekane would win big construction tenders and donate a few goodies here and there but rarely did he ever give any hint that he harboured any political ambitions. His announcement that he was now launching his Revolution for Prosperity party was greeted with almost messianic undertones in Maseru and beyond. Judging by the excitement that it garnered Matekane’s new political outfit is certainly going to make a huge dent in the next election due by September. He is likely to make serious inroads in urban areas where he will need no introduction to a restless electorate crying out for a political messiah. The All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, which is battling serious internal fissures, is likely to be the hardest hit. The ABC had relied on the urban vote since its formation in 2006. The rug has now been pulled under its feet. With Matekane’s entry, the ABC now faces its biggest battle to stay relevant beyond the 2022 general elections. It would be extremely narrow to assume that it is only the ABC which will suffer following the entry of Matekane’s outfit. The new baby is likely to attract supporters from across all political parties who are fed up with the pace of economic growth in Lesotho. In fact, there is absolute panic and pandemonium in most political parties who see Matekane’s outfit as a threat. As a successful businessman, Matekane wields a lot of respect among impoverished Basotho who see him as a man of action who can do much to reverse their plunge into poverty. His selling point is that he is rich and will not steal from the poor. He will however need to get down to the villages and sell his idea. He will need a team of able salesmen on the ground to market and convince Basotho to buy into his vision. Matekane will need to convince Basotho that this is a new dawn for Lesotho, unencumbered by the baggage of the past. Basotho will hope that Matekane will be able to transfer his success in business to the political arena. But that is where Matekane might get stuck. We have seen numerous examples around the world where supposedly successful businessmen, Donald Trump and Cyril Ramaphosa closer home, have floundered on the political scene. To get over that hurdle Matekane will need to assemble a strong team of technocrats to drive his agenda. For years, businessmen in Lesotho were content to win big tenders and stay in the shadows. But not anymore. Matekane’s entry into politics would seem to suggest that they are now tired of being fed; they want to parcel the cake themselves. That is virgin territory. The question Basotho want answered is: To what extent will Matekane and company bring the same organisational skills that made them thrive in business into the political arena? If they succeed, they will certainly enrichen the quality of our politics and improve the lives of Basotho.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Copyright © 2022. The Post Newspaper. All Rights Reserved