OP-EDs

OP-ED: GNU WILL NOT BENEFIT THE PEOPLE

By Lebohang Thotanyana
I have followed with keen interest the recent political debates regarding the route Lesotho must take at this point in time especially as we seemingly enter the cross roads. The concept of having the government of national unity (GNU) is increasingly being debated and I wish to add my own personal views.
My honest view is that any change in government that is not legitimized by an election that tests the pulse of the electorate will not have legitimacy at all. Changing government midstream can only serve the purpose of those that will benefit from it and not the people
A government of national unity might be inclusive but it may suffer from not been representative of the wishes of the same people we think we are helping if it is done without an election and at the convenience of our rulers
It therefore stands to be self-serving than to serve the people due to its lack of democratic legitimacy. We may see it as a good thing but is it what the people want? That can be answered by an election
It will be very costly if all parties in parliament were to part take, let alone if we were to say all stakeholders
It will stifle democracy and deny such an administration an important oversight of opposition. Once there is no government in waiting to make the present one to account then we stand to create a runaway horse that is not accountable.
With the weak institutions that we have, we are likely to see more corruption because nobody will make government to account e.g. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that is independent
There are other models and instruments that can be used to achieve reforms successfully without using the GNU model, a good example is what we did after 1998 when we created the Independent Political Authority (IPA) which reformed our electoral model. More models are out there
There is no empirical evidence to support the notion that GNU is the best form of governance in a reform environment.
My views have let me into the wilderness with those that I used to share many ideas with but it’s fine because I honestly believe differently.
I am not advocating for another election but in a democracy the will of the people must prevail. The cost of democracy is always high but most importantly the voice of the people is the voice of God as the bible says. NW

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