Dr Fako Likoti
FREEDOM of speech is a good thing and something that must be protected at all cost. The constitution of Lesotho in Chapter II also supports this fundamental freedom of expression. However, nowhere in the world is this freedom extended to abuse and badmouthing others. Professor Mafa Sejanamane has a tendency of badmouthing others even when the truth is laid bare for all to see. Take for instance his 4 May 2017 article in the Lesotho Times titled “Can Mosisili’s successors untangle his web?” In the article, Prof Sejanamane made some fallacious allegations against the Government of Lesotho and the Prime Minister, Dr Pakalitha Mosisili.
Prof Sejanamane was recently put to shame by the Constitutional Court after he and his boss at the National University of Lesotho have been featuring in many radio stations in Maseru claiming that a new prime minister would be appointed after the parliamentary no-confidence vote. Who could believe these clowns after such a major defeat by the Constitutional Court? What was even more strange was the concerted effort mounted by these clowns to badmouth the government. Ideally, the leadership of a national university is supposed to support the government of the day. The university is regarded, the world over, as the think tank of the government. In Lesotho, the situation is different, with the leadership of the university in cahoots with opposition parties to destabilise the government. One questions their rationality in fighting their government. Maybe this is an indication that they have long passed their use-by-date at this institution. The university has made headlines recently for the wrong reasons. However, disgraced politicians like Prof Sejanamane have been hiding behind the academic façade to advance their crooked politics while destroying the good name of this institution. I will address this opposition publicist point by point.
Mosisili rule ‘a nightmare for Lesotho’
Prof Sejanamane claimed that Dr Mosisili’s rule has been a nightmare for the country. What is interesting is that, instead of commending the current seven-party government that brought peace and stability in this country, he has been badmouthing them. Maybe he expected the All Basotho Convention (ABC) to be in power not a Democratic Congress-led government. Indeed it was a nightmare for him and his ABC colleagues. However, the reality is Dr Mosisili’s rule was characterised by peace and stability. Under Dr Mosisili’s watch, the Lesotho Defence Force did not fight the Lesotho Mounted Police Service. Instead, we saw the two security agencies working hand in hand and harmoniously. This is the nightmare that Prof Sejanamane didn’t want to see.
Mosisili ‘capturing the state’
The opposition sympathiser failed to realise that one is elected to be prime minister to head His Majesty’s government and its institutions. Prof Sejanamane forgets that there were elections on 28 February 2015 that brought this government to power.
This is what he calls Dr Mosisili’s state capture. I must admit Prof Sejanamane fails miserably here. How can an elected prime minister not make appointments in these state institutions?
This is absurd indeed. He appears to have been happy when former premier Thomas Thabane was appointing people to head national institutions. It seems in Prof Sejanamane’s view it is wrong for the current prime minister to appoint people just because he is not Dr Thabane.
Let me make it clear to Prof Sejanamane that Dr Mosisili is constitutionally empowered to make appointments in all state institutions. He is executing his constitutional prerogative. Therefore, to characterise this function as state capture is not only preposterous but ridiculous. This prime minister’s function cannot be characterised as state capture.
‘Coalition cannot govern a divided country’
By the way Mr opposition publicist or whatever you are called, Lesotho is not a divided country. The divided country is a figment of your imagination. Lesotho is a unitary state. He is so ill-advised to forget that the constitution of Lesotho in Chapter I does not talk about a divided Lesotho but one sovereign and democratic Kingdom. He should stop this nonsense of Lesotho being a divided country. To claim that the country where people are not at war with each other or rather where there is no civil war is divided is bizarre to say the least.
Prof Sejanamane further claimed that the other parties in the current coalition government do not deserve to be in parliament because, according to him they acquired few votes. I am now certain that this prof is terribly wanting academically and democratically. How do you condemn people who have been democratically-elected in accordance with the constitutional electoral system? The claim that these parties were rewarded for failure is absurd indeed. Why do you condemn people who voted for these parties?
How dare Prof Sejaname cast aspersion on voters and the candidates who were democratically voted into power? Who gave him the authority to select those who have the qualifications to be in parliament?
I have said before that it is better to shut up than to spew venom to voters.
The Constitution of this country, in chapter one, gives every citizen the right to vote and to be voted for. Put differently, the right to participate in government. How dare he criticise elected officials and claim they have been rewarded for failure? What failure?
I think Prof Sejanamane is completely out of order. He should be advised that this nation’s citizens have the right to participate in the government whether you like it or not.
Prof Sejanamane appears to be pained by the appointments of ministers because he has failed numerous times to become NUL vice-chancellor. Now he has resorted to diatribes and badmouthing His Majesty’s ministers; what a shame.
Use of force
Sejanamane claims that people were killed and tortured during Dr Mosisili’s rule. This man is very confused. Maybe he is referring to the infamous April 1970 massacre during Basotho National Party (BNP) rule, whereby over 110 people were killed for their politics and scores were buried alive in Lipeketheng, Leribe and Ha Koasa. Probably, he is referring to worshippers who were killed while praying in church in Mathebe, Mafeteng district under BNP rule. These atrocities took place during Leabua Jonathan’s regime not under Dr Mosisili´s rule. He may recall that during that time, the Constitution was suspended. Not so under Dr Mosisili’s rule. All these indicators he has been flagging are early warning signs that if any of his clique, that is ABC and BNP can be elected to power, the 1970’s era may be revisited. We will not allow that era to befall Basotho and Lesotho again.
Under Dr Mosisili’s administration, every case was investigated by the local police or even an international inquiry like the Phumaphi Commission unlike under BNP rule where people’s properties was destroyed, stolen and of course people butchered without a single case brought before any court of law. Prof Sejanamane is confusing the BNP regime with the congress rule.
Mosisili’s so-called militia
Lesotho currently does not have a militia as Prof Sejanamane claimed. Let me remind him that the despicable chapters of the 1970s were ended in 1993 when the congress movement came to power. The period of the militia once known as the Lesotho Youth Service (LYS), was closed forever after the 1993 elections. Please Prof Sejanamane, do not confuse LYS with Lesotho’s security agencies. Your so-called militia is a figment of your imagination again. LYS will not come back again in this country. Your nostalgia for LYS has no place in our democracy.
Flouting conventions of caretaker govt
Prof Sejanamane claims that Dr Mosisili has been violating conventions of a caretaker government by appointing his relatives to key positions. This is absurd. He was silent when Dr Thabane appointed Dr Kananelo Mosito as Court of Appeal president during this period. He was also quiet when Dr Thabane appointed some principal secretaries.
His obsession with the prime minister is amazing. He claims that the PM’s son, Advocate Rethabile Mosisili, had no qualifications for the post of Lesotho Highlands Water Commission chief delegate. This is fallacious and he knows it. Since Prof Sejanamane failed dismally in conducting research, he does not know that there is a difference between an appointment and assumption of duty. Advocate Mosisili was appointed long before the dissolution of parliament. In fact, it does not fall in the category of the so-called key appointments as he alleges. This appointment was not even made by the prime minister but by a minister. Even a primary school child knows this fact. Similarly, Advocate Mosisili, as an independent man and a citizen of this country who is also a lawyer of high standing.
Like every Mosotho man, he has the right to work in his country.
The appointment of Justice Robert Nugent as Court of Appeal president was done late last year immediately after the dismissal of Dr Mosito who was appointed by Dr Thabane during the election period.
Prof Sejanamane claimed that Dr Mosisili has been making these key appointments to misuse state resources. He, unfortunately, forgets that Dr Thabane was the one who misused state resources. He used the police to remove the Attorney-General Tšokolo Makhethe and Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Leaba Thetsane from their offices. He used food parcels to buy votes in the last election. In fact, even during these elections, the ABC is still buying votes with blankets and paraffin. His party is also violating the electoral code of conduct right now and subsequently claiming elections rigging. When will Prof Sejanamane talk about these violations? Instead of bad mouthing the prime minister?