It is the beginning of a new year and above that, the launch of a new decade. New Year’s resolutions are set, with undesirable past behaviours identified for elimination and positive new targets and ambitions laid out as roadmaps for the year ahead. The setting of goals and targets provides the basic outline and direction for activities that should not be pushed out of focus, despite all the obstacles and trials that may be encountered along the way. On a national scale, a similar endeavour reminiscent of such resolutions that we carry into this new decade, is the National Reforms Process – Tlhopho Bocha. The mediation was first embarked on with assistance from Southern African Development Community (SADC) appointed facilitator Cyril Ramaphosa, who following his 2019 presidential win, delegated his proxy to Justice Dikgang Moseneke.
The state of our nation necessitated a call for the reform of operating procedures that had led to situations of political and civil unrest and the existing conditions in Lesotho. Several facets of Lesotho’s history have demonstrated the great force and strength of this country – alas at times to its own detriment – and yet Lesotho remains in an extended period of apparent stagnation, where any movement forward appears to be negated by incidents that serve to take and keep the country stuck in a state of inertia and inactivity. Let us not allow the narrative of Lesotho in the last decade to continue on into our next. The reforms process is important for all of us.
Reform: an attempt at transcendence, adaptation, and growth from one’s former self into a more balanced and peaceful state of being; an evolution from the current story to a position that this beautiful country has the potential to hold. Regardless of the challenges faced, this country has enormous potential to be more, more than what she is known for and what would seem at times to be complacency in being. This can be reached through the joint and directed efforts of her people. The native resources of this land alone can give provision for means to sustain its people. Exploitation thereof must be extensively to the advantage of all Basotho.
This process is meant for the benefit of each and every one of Lesotho’s people. Every Mosotho child, woman and man, in every corner of this land. These reforms are undertaken with the intent to improve the quality of life of every Mosotho citizen, and to create a better route for the generations to come. It’s imperative to take the required steps now, to migrate from the practices of the past at every level and sphere of society.
It is a regrettable truth that Lesotho’s political history has made Basotho wary and even distrustful of elected officials to execute the mandates of their offices. And yet one thing remains ever true, that a country’s politics infiltrate every aspect of community and impact people’s lives, either directly or indirectly. The representatives we elect into public functions, to draw up legislation and policy that dictate a nation’s do’s and don’ts, in effect have the power to create platforms and frameworks within which inhabitants are allowed to thrive.
At the dawn of this new decade, it’s important to review the journey traversed over the last. Reflection on where one has been, of past failures and achievements, allows for the proper planning and strategizing for the road ahead. Educating ourselves and being knowledgeable of the politics of our country, and by extension the national reforms process, gives citizens greater ability to hold those in leadership roles accountable when promises made are not kept, and set expectations are not met. Let our votes be informed by past evidence of an individual’s capability and not have one’s popularity be the qualifying factor. Teaching our young ones, as tomorrow’s leaders, is critical. Political education in particular, is important to foster a politically conscious and responsible generation. Let us applaud the strides of the reform process thus far, acknowledge the countrywide participation on crucial aspects, and stay abreast of developments in our country.