Thirteen days from today, the coalition government led by Dr Thomas Thabane would be celebrating two years in office.
It looks like yesterday when the veteran, All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader took the oath of office on a rainy Friday morning of 8 June 2012.
The atmosphere in Setsoto stadium where the swearing-in ceremony took place was electric, in-spite of the chilly weather—a clear testimony of the determination the general citizenry had in ensuring the new era was given the most stirring send-off as possible following 15 years of Dr Pakalitha Mosisili’s leadership.
Analysts, as usual, took turns to point at the complexities of a government comprising different parties with diverse ideologies, and many did not believe the ABC, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP) could work together due to this diversity.
After a few uneasy steps in the early days of this marriage of inconvenience —as some pessimists put it — the coalition government finally found its feet and the different party heads appear to have finally mastered the art of providing the kind of leadership which saw the electorate brave the biting cold to witness Dr Thabane take oath of office.
Among the several sound decisions that the government has made was demanding a review of the agreement of the Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which was clearly tilted in South Africa’s favour.
However, there is no doubting that the government still has to fulfil many promises the leaders made to the public in the run-up to the election that brought them to power.
The living wage promised to the textile workers and many other sectors remains unfulfilled largely due to government’s failure to support the employees’ cause, while service-delivery in most government ministries is as sluggish as ever.
A good example is the Ministry of Transport where renewing an expired vehicle licence disc is still as traumatic as ever due to cleric staff that simply doesn’t care about the need for timely service-delivery.
Roads in some parts of Maseru, for instance, are in such deplorable state they are a real nightmare to the motorist—another clear example of government failure to provide this critical infrastructure.
Other issues that communities continue to complain about but to no avail, include lack of potable water and electricity.
Unemployment also remains one of the country’s main challenges although government has tried to address the issue by creating an environment that encourages new investors.
But as pointed out by residents of Buthe-Buthe on Friday last week during discussions with Dr Thabane, government needs to ensure it provides the development it has been promising for the past two years.
Dr Thabane, as he has done on many occasions, promised the residents government would not let them down — and would live up to their expectations in a far as service-delivery is concerned.
It is our hope it was not just political rhetoric by the Prime Minister, but genuine promises that government would soon translate into reality.