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Lesotho run by old civil servants: Monyake

Bongiwe Zihlangu

DISGRUNTLED Stadium Area constituency Member of Parliament (MP) Mophato Monyake, has said “ageing” former civil servants in positions of power hamper Lesotho’s economic growth “because they are incapable of devising clear programmes to steer this country forward”.

Because of such a perilous state, Monyake said he was working on a youth and industrial revolution programme to “create jobs for the younger generation, help curb the abject poverty gripping Lesotho and influence nationwide economic development”.

Speaking to the Sunday Express at parliament on Wednesday — on the day he resigned from the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) to become an independent MP — Monyake said there are “old people” in government who, instead of staying at home and playing with their grandchildren, are “making a mess of things”.

He continued: “I am talking about former civil servants who came into politics and became leaders but unfortunately, have no progressive ideas to grow this country economically.
“These are people who we, as the young generation, find ourselves running after just because they were once Principal Secretaries (PSs) and influential government officials who have a background of working for pretty much every past administration.”

This could be interpreted as an indirect attack on ABC leader, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who fired Mr Monyake from the Justice and Correctional Services Minister post in February this year.
Mr Monyake’s dismissal followed a chain of fallouts between Dr Thabane and Mr Monyake, who insiders allege was well-known for questioning the prime minister’s decisions.
Dr Thabane, 75, is one of the country’s longest-serving civil servants who held strategic positions in almost all Lesotho’s previous governments.

The ABC leader served the Basotho National Party-led government of the late Leabua Jonathan as a PS for the Ministry of Interior, was Secretary of the Military Council of the junta administration, Special Advisor to the now-late former Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle, as well Minister in the ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Home Affairs and Communications, Science and Technology consecutively.
In a press statement released on Monday, in which Monyake announced his resignation from the ABC, the Mr Monyake also revealed he would be preparing a “long-term political programme” that would be ready for launch “prior to the next general election”.

Asked if by the political programme he meant forming a political party to contest in the 2017 elections, Mr Monyake responded to the contrary, saying his idea was to “organise young people for a youth revolution”.
According to Mr Monyake, the movement would be an answer to the rampant unemployment, which he said had reached 25 percent.
Mr Monyake added that both the Dr Thabane-led coalition government, consisting of the ABC, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP) as well as former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s administration “failed to address the unemployment”.
“I am contemplating organising young people for a youth and industrial revolution to address the 25 percent unemployment rate which the current and previous governments dismally failed to address,” Mr Monyake said.

He added that his programme would be primarily aimed at “emancipating” Lesotho from the grips of poverty.
At the same time, Monyake accused the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs, of failure to develop districts to ease congestion in the capital city, Maseru.
“Local government is not performing well and working towards developing the other nine districts, hence the influx of Basotho into Maseru in search of jobs,” Monyake said.
“We are governed by old civil servants with no clear programmes to advance this country and as the young generation, we need to divorce ourselves from them because they have nothing to give.”

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