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Thought Leader with Advocate Ndumo: What lessons can the RFP government learn from the opposition’s motion of no confidence in PM Matekane? (PART I)

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RFP Government voting fodder

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

~James 1:5 (New International Version)

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

~Ephesians 1:16-17 (New International Version)

“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

~Proverbs 12:15 (New International Version)

1. All the cliches are, indeed true.

You cannot hope to effect a REVOLUTION utilising tired, old and discredited paradigms; the RFP promised us, those who boldly voted for it, a revolution to rival all revolutions. One begins to wonder if there is an appreciation, inside the leadership echelons of the RFP,for the spiritual dimensions of words such as these. Words, generate, they create, as we see very well with the creation story in Genesis. Some argue that it cannot possibly be that God created the world in 6 days, and, former avowed Atheist that I am, I always say, “Duude! It’s the spiritual principle conveyed through that creation story that you should be more concerned about because this splitting of hairs will lead you down very dark interior paths.” In Sesotho we say, “lelemekemoloi” or, translated into English, “the tongue is a witch” in recognition of the power of the tongue to either build or destroy. Place your order dear reader and the Universe shall most assuredly oblige you.

The word, “revolution” carries deep, spiritual weight and it would sadden me to one day learn that this word was chosen lightly by a branding and marketing team commissioned by the deep pockets of this party to entice a leery, totally jaded voter base. Which is it ma-RFP? I am not a member of your party, as I have always insisted, or any other political party for that matter. I only borrowed you my very expensive voting finger (after changing my mind last minute about participating in the absolute, proven circus called Westminster) to unseat the incumbents, and for good reason too! This finger is so expensive that not even Elon Musk can afford to raise venture capital for it. It is not for sale and I made it clear, through my social media posts pre-election in 2022, that your party and your government should not make the mistake of treating the electorate like voting fodder.

What is “voting fodder” you may ask? For you to appreciate this concept in depth dear Reader, your best bet is not an online dictionary, no, your best bet is then Associate Professor William Mervyn Gumede’s primer article titled “Africans are not voting fodder” which was published in 2018 by the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Governance

This tour de force of an article, was written over 5 years ago, and, yet, do our leaders ever pay any heed to thought leadership that seeks to impart wisdom and knowledge to them as they go about governing us?

This is not even about PM Matekane as a person; it’s more about his underwhelming government and how, to be perfectly honest, it has verifiably created many weak links in and around his personality due to this patent lack of wisdom and the ability to humble oneself to the chastisement of the moment.

  • If you cannot master the basics when it comes to political governance, you may as well throw in the towel.

Not only is the RFP’s legendary factionalism an issue but, its handling of Dr Mahali Phamotse, and her faction, puts its lack of insight, tactical skills acquisition, the political long game and the ability to read the room, on full display for all to see. Its attitude towards her has always been hostile (have this party not learned ANYTHING from the ABC versus Professor NqosaLeuta Mahao debacle of epic proportions? Talk about a free Masterclass on how not to give your internal political foe national prominence to a point of totally dismantling your own credibility and party’s ability to successfully contest a general election as an INCUMBENT government). Bo Mme le boNtate, so you are going to sommerjustnjerepeat the mistakes of the very recent past? But you know how this story ends, don’t you? It never ends well. Your treatment of the Dr Mahali Phamotse faction reeks of anti-democratic sentiments (once your constituents had spoken, a la Westminster, you should have deferred to their choice, grit your teeth and carried on). Governance in the political, national domain should not imply that we are now constrained to play “Happy Families”, no, as professionals, we find a collegial way of going about fulfilling our mandate. Instead of gritting your teeth and dismantling her growing influence inside the party by bringing her closer, you sanctioned her alleged ill discipline in the most bizarre, disproportionate manner (6 years suspension…mirth inducing indeed) and eventually, for all her ‘sins”, expulsion…what was the crime again? Whatever happened to the notion of proportionality when meting out punishments for alleged or proven crimes??? And, now, there she goes, with her growing band of disaffected RFP MPs now harshing your mellow. Oh well!

Mothepa Ndumo is a Legal Academic at the National University of Lesotho, a PhD in the Domestic Investment of Pension Funds student, a lecturer in Labour Law, the Governance of Pension Funds and the Interpretation of Statutes. Adv Ndumo is an Industrial Sociologist, Certified Executive and Leadership Coach and the Founder and CEO of Tataiso Afrika (Pty) Ltd. She writes in her personal capacity.

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