Tomaz Salamao, the man whose name sounds a lot like tomato salad, has left a sour taste in the mouths of this country’s opposition leaders.
After landing in the country undetected — on what we can only assume was a stealth jet — SADC’s executive secretary went on to make a lot of mischief in the Mountain Kingdom.
His mission, it was reported, was to check on the progress that the government and the opposition have made to resolve the two-year dispute over the proportional representation seats issue.
Check on progress my foot!
If any progress had indeed been made, our Noisemaker very nearly undid it all single-handedly.
Salamao took advantage of his time here to gallivant all over the show and spend time with the government.
He failed to play an objective role in the whole saga, compromising his involvement here by giving the lion’s share of his time to the government.
The opposition complained about this issue saying: “Shortly after that, we were informed that the ministerial delegation was no longer coming but the SADC executive secretary instead, but it later occurred that the said SADC official was already in the country and in discussions with (ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy) party officials.”
Apart from his brazen display of favouritism, Salamao tossed some more bitter leaves into his unsavoury salad by avoiding the critical issue of the Masire report.
If he had no mandate to speak on the matter as he claimed, then he had no business coming here in the first place. Progress on the PR seats issue cannot be discussed without the relevant background, which includes the Masire report.
The opposition was however wrong to think that SADC has been serious about Zimbabwe. SADC was not serious about Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was serious about Zimbabwe. Those in the know will tell you that it was the state of the economy that finally forced the ruling ZANU-PF party to sit at the discussion tables with the MDC.
SADC, as political commentator Tsikoane Peshoane correctly observes, risks becoming irrelevant through its shocking double standards.
Salamao’s unbalanced visit is only a microcosm of the real problem with the regional bloc.
Congratulations are in order for Vodacom and Alliance Insurance, two companies that have decided to do something about raising the standard of football in this country.
As we have said before, the development of any sport depends on financial support as much as it does on human talent. Football needs money to attract the right coaches and players, as well as to implement sustainable youth development programmes.
Vodacom, it was reported, struck a three-year deal with the Lesotho Football Association. As the Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation ‘Mathabiso Lepono rightly said, the ball is now in Lefa’s court to make the most out of every cent.
“Let us use the money to the last cent. To Lefa, let’s be transparent so that if you do well the sponsor can increase the package,” said Lepono.
We couldn’t have put it better.
Alliance Insurance did its own bit to promote football when it agreed to sponsor Lioli with Umbro kits worth M300 000 per year for the next four years.
It is unfortunate though, that the majority of football lovers will not directly benefit from these developments because football matches are still not televised in this country.
In our humble opinion, it is relatively easy for another company to sponsor two or three broadcast standard video cameras, which may be used to record the two most important matches each weekend. Forget beaming the matches live, delayed would do just fine as a start.
Let’s hope someone out there is listening.