By Mahao Mahao
Dear coalition partners,
You currently have an enviable position on the entire African continent.
You are on the threshold of making Africa and the rest of the world sit back and witness something amazing; especially in view of the continent’s current and past political turbulence.
Despite tiny Lesotho’s size, she can be a model and future point of reference for generations to come.
You are presently in a position none of you has experienced before and you have a mammoth task ahead of you.
Not just to govern a country in serious need of uplifting due to many years of neglect and mismanagement but also to make the unchartered waters of coalition navigable.
With the right frame of mind, you can sail through the turbulence and safely reach your intended destination.
You are not even a hundred days in the saddle but already you have been derided and dismissed as a temporary set-up by prophets of doom; prophets who only envisage your failure.
We have heard unpalatable predictions of how short-lived your union will be.
It has been suggested that your combination is no different from a mixture of oil and water; that you are nothing but a concoction of nationalist and congress ideologies and a coalition of parties which lost elections.
Please do not allow these doomsayers to derail you from your objective.
You have an opportunity to make these kill-joys eat humble pie and regret their negative statements.
Focus on the main goal therefore.
Many of the people who wish this calamity on you are nothing but a group of disgruntled souls who wish they could be occupying the positions you now have.
They are hurting that they have literally run out of friends with whom they could have formed a government.
They should instead, be asking why no one seems keen to work with them.
Ignore their negative and baseless forecasts about the outcome of your union.
Just focus on the goal ahead: That of giving Lesotho its best government ever. Yes, you can!
And please do not wallow in the excitement of having managed to form a government.
Do not rub salt into their gaping wounds.
As long as their comments do not prevent you from governing the country, ignore these negative-minded pessimists.
You will be using too much negative energy if you paid unwarranted attention on their statements.
That energy must be channelled onto other more positive community uplifting programmes. Use it wisely.
Despite Lesotho’s tiny size, you can teach many of your bigger African brothers a lesson or two.
Africa is fertile ground for political strife and squabbles.
Many of us have lost hope that anything good can ever come out of Africa.
Take a leaf out of Nelson Mandela’s book.
In 1994 he invited former oppressors and self-professed racists into his government. He made FW de Klerk his second deputy, all in the name of reconciliation and nation building.
Election results gave Mandela and the African National Congress the opportunity to govern alone but he didn’t.
He extended an olive branch to the former enemy.
Respected as he already was, Mandela went on to secure legendary and almost unparalleled status as a statesman of the highest order.
His Nobel Peace prize speaks volumes about him.
No one denies that a coalition of assorted groups will not be easy but you should make your goals the focus and not your differences.
Where you come from is of little value; where you want to take Basotho is more significant.
Whichever grouping you represent, Lesotho’s challenges remain the same; and addressing them should be far above egos, petty party politics and differences.
Many of us do not even care about your political affiliations; we just want a better country to live in.
We want Lesotho to take good care of us its citizens.
Whether you have a congress or nationalist background means absolutely nothing.
Those who wish failure on you do not have Lesotho’s interests at heart but their own.
If they loved this country they would wish you well and hope you succeed for the general good of our beloved Kingdom.
Make no mistake they will celebrate your failure if ever it comes.
It is the one thing they want to see happen. Please do not give them the pleasure of seeing you falter.
Make them wait and wait until 2017 when none would dare utter the word “failure” in your direction.
The cold hard truth is that your success has the potential to fast-track the demise of the pessimists.
The public does not even know how you came up with the present cabinet.
We can imagine it was a difficult process where a lot of bargaining and compromise had to be made.
There may have been differences here and there but you finally presented the nation with its new cabinet.
That was the first real test of your resolve and willingness to work together for the common good.
Despite some lingering doubts among certain people (as was to be expected) we are prepared to give them a chance to prove their worth.
Whatever choices you had made, you would still not please everyone.
In closing, please handle our coalition government with good and dutiful care.
Think of it as a newborn baby and you will know you cannot drop it onto the ground.
Faculty of Education, NUL