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The timing is just not right



Sesotho se re: Lepotla-potla le ja poli. Hape se re: Ho checha ha ramo, ha se ho baleha. I will elaborate more on the true meaning of those phrases.

But before we start please allow me to ask you a few pertinent questions.

Should a Minister of Finance be an economist or an accountant? Secondly, should a Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance be an accountant or economist?

Thirdly, should the Commissioner General of the Lesotho Revenue Authority, now known as the Revenue Services Lesotho (ReSeLe) be an economist, accountant or auditor? Chew on those questions carefully whilst enjoying this week’s opinion piece.

Hela! Ke utloa hore re ne re na le baeti Masinoto maane ka moqebelo o fetileng. Nonyana li ne li lula batho. (I hear that we had visitors in Mazenod last week Saturday. It was fun).

The Revolution For Prosperity (RFP) held its final rally at Thota-Moli in Mazenod to close the curtain on their campaign leading to tomorrow’s general election.

I was out of town and only saw bits and pieces of the rally on social media. Thank God for technology, I got to see a spectacle the RFP displayed.

Wow! It was a festival of music, helicopters, acrobatic airplanes, jets, construction machinery and agricultural equipment. It was something the country had never seen before and well done to the

RFP team for putting together a world-class show. Well coordinated and very entertaining. Vey entertaining indeed but will the show translate to votes? I guess only time will tell.

When Sam Matekane delivered his speech, it was a case of cumsi-cumsa (comme ci comme ça). Not too good, not too bad. Just lukewarm.

To me, the speech lacked fire! It wasn’t the type of speech that motivates a person to say, “Yes, I’m voting for the RFP. No, it was a case of the same old promises. “Ha re ka kena pusong, re tlo….” (When we get into Government we will).

But what killed the speech was when Ntate Tlohang Sekhamane stood next to Matekane to hold the speech (papers) from being blown off by the wind. And I thought, no man, we all suspect that Ntate Sekhamane is behind the speeches, can’t he just give the poor man a chance to shine.

It just killed the speech because it felt like Matekane was just a mouth-piece of Ntate Sekhamane’s thought process and it lacked emotion, conviction and connection with the audience.

Not to sound arrogant but I would have written a killer speech by far. You know, when writing and delivering a speech, rule number one is to connect with the people.

Just create a spark and tap into their emotions. Make them cry, make them laugh, make them sing and dance with them. But most importantly, make them believe in what you are saying (conviction).

This is what Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela were very good at. Not forgetting Winston Churchill. They were good at creating a roller coaster of emotions. Ntate Tom was also very good at that.

Ntate Mosisili ena o ne a itsebela ho soma feela. He was exceptional at it.

But let’s set the record straight! Between the top five politicians contesting for the top post, Ntate Mahao has an edge over them all.

Ntate Mahao is not the best of orators and speaks as if he’s in a lecture theatre. However he carries a lot of depth. O tebile. He stands for strong principles (law and order) and understands how public administration should operate. The mechanics of Public Administration.

But the biggest disappointment during the campaign season was Mme ‘Malichaba Lekhoaba because I had intended on voting for the UFC. But, no, she’s not ready yet.

You know, when she was hosted on Lesotho Television and said she disputes the notion that Lesotho is broke and whoever says that state is broke makes her very angry. E mo halefisa hampe. I said, “Clearly we have a problem here.”

Mme ‘Malichaba has a strong belief that the state has a lot of money because MPs were able to dish-out M5 000 allowances for themselves. So she said the main problem is that people misuse state funds but the money is there. After she said that, I just switched the TV off and said, “Goodnight.”

However, all in all, I think Matekane needs to play his cards right after the election results are announced.

In my view, I would advise him to take over the opposition bench for the next five years and give Mokhothu and Kabi some space to lead the country. I think this will give Matekane enough time to adjust to being a politician and learn from the mistakes that are bound to happen.

Like I said, the incoming coalition government is faced with colossal problems due to cash-flow challenges. The tax revenue collection is very low to keep the state afloat. In my view it is bound to crash-land within two years of its tenure.

So, is Matekane prepared to risk his reputation by being part of that plane? The same question goes to Mahao.

If Matekane hurries to be part of a ruling coalition government, he will be expected to perform miracles that are simply out of his control and people are going to be very hurt when he disappoints them.

Moreover, Matekane doesn’t need to carry the burden of leading Lesotho to a failed-state status. History will forever judge him harshly as the guy that sank Lesotho. “Matekane ke ena ea neng a liele naha.”

If he plays his cards right and stand back a bit, he will make a stronger comeback and gain greater popularity in the next elections. Ho checha ha ramo, ha se ho baleha. Ke ho kha matla.

But a major challenge that Matekane is faced with at the moment is that he is surrounded by too many hungry and desperate hyenas. The question is: will these hyenas endure pain of occupying the opposition bench for the next five years? I doubt it.

In conclusion, I see Matekane as a star cricket player that wants to try a hand in soccer. However, this star cricket player wants to switch to being a soccer player, go straight to the World Cup, score and win the World Cup. No, it never works that way. Time!

Matekane needs to learn and to take notes from a story of a basketball legend and worldwide sensation named Michael Jordan.

In 1994, he decided to switch from basketball and play baseball (NBL). He expected to perform as well in baseball as he did in basketball. However, his stint was short-lived because he performed dismally.

He only lasted for a year as a baseball player until he crashed out and branded as a ‘baseball clown’. Learn from that story.

If I were in either Matekane or Mahao’s shoes, I would just sit back and allow the process to take its course by allowing my opponents to fumble. It would allow me to come back stronger in the next elections with a weaker opposition. Currently, the timing is just not right!

‘Mako Bohloa

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