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The tale of a man and his suitcase

Noisemaker 1
Adelani Ogunrinade
aka Vasco da Gama

Professor Adelani Ogunrinade must be grateful for the person who invented the suitcase.
With hindsight, it should have been clear from the beginning that suspended National University of Lesotho (NUL) vice-chancellor Adelani Ogunrinade was a man bitten by the explorer’s bug.
Some excerpts from his biography on the university’s website:
“At Wits, one of his major achievements is that he led the postgraduate studies best practice tour to Australia, UK and US . . .” and,
“His service as Dean of Graduate School at Ibadan was characterised by great strides such as the fundraising for the provision of the MKO Abiola Travel awards for staff and students to attend conferences . . .”
Clearly the man is a believer in the virtues of travel.
To be sure, we at Newsmakers & Noisemakers agree that any academic worth his salt carries in him a strong desire to travel and experience other lands, peoples and cultures. After all, this is the only way the cross-pollination of ideas in the intellectual community can take place.
What we’re against however, is the idea of living like a Harvard Vice-Chancellor when you’re from good old humble NUL.
According to the findings of an internal audit into his activities, Monsieur Ogunrinade has a craving for la dolce vita (the sweet life to the uninitiated) which he habitually satisfied using university accounts.
Whereas the vice-chancellor was well within his rights to attend to matters on behalf of NUL outside the country, it appears he was often taking unauthorised trips, overstaying and double-charging the university for bills that would have been catered for by other parties.
Add to that his love for flying business class (got to love the legroom though) and you have a man who was now mixing business and pleasure – albeit with pleasure being more than half the mixture.
Reminds us of the old Bob Dylan song, Gotta travel on:

Done laid around and stayed around this old town too long
Summer’s almost gone yeah winter’s comin’ on
Done laid around and stayed around this old town too long
And I feel like I gotta travel on  . . .

We await to see how this case unfolds.

Noisemaker 2
Opposition Youths

Last month, when the ABC and other opposition youths accused the Millennium Challenge Corporation of harbouring a hidden land agenda, we said they had the responsibility of making an informed argument whenever they do make such serious accusations.
We said we expected the opposition to craft a convincing response to the Land Bill, perhaps a position paper, on why the Bill should not be passed.
Furthermore, the opposition would have done well to put things into context by presenting case studies on the issue of selling land to foreigners in other countries.
This has not been done.
Last week, the United States ambassador to Lesotho Robert Nolan met All Basotho Convention youth league president Libe Moremoholo to discuss the opposition’s concerns over the Land Bill.
That meeting was fruitless.
This week, we bring you a quote from an article that appeared in a Zimbabwean economics newsletter published in October:
“Lack of prices for land (after the chaotic land reform in that country) has seen some people holding land for inheritance purposes at the expense of production. There is no versatility in the use of land as a means of production in order to generate wealth for the individual and the economy at large . . .”
As readers will probably know, the issue of land ownership in Zimbabwe is also a hot potato. However, as the author of the article quoted above acknowledges, holding land for inheritance purposes alone will not help improve any country’s lot.
Leaders like Moremoholo must raise their level of debate and discuss how land as a means of production can be used to the benefit of all Basotho. This may not necessarily entail selling it to foreigners, but perhaps leasing it out for long periods.
Come on guys, stop the gutter talk and bring a persuasive argument to the table.

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