Marking Matekane’s First 100 Days


Rich premier laid out lofty goals when he came into office, but has he delivered?


MASERU – The government of Prime Minister Ntsokoane Matekane marks its first 100 days in office and he is expected to highlight key issues the administration has tackled since formation.  Matekane was inaugurated as the new premier at an event held at the Setsoto Stadium on October 28, 2022. He vowed to be a true and faithful prime minister, emphasizing the importance of ensuring implementation of the reforms agenda, and promised to uproot corruption while also carrying the nation forward into “The Lesotho We Want.” He assured the nation that as the leader of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), which leads the new coalition government of partners Alliance of Democrats (AD) and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) he will never disappoint the nation.

He urged all to pray for this coalition government. In his remarks, the new prime minister observed that Lesotho’s economy is in recession, saying he was convinced that God’s grace alone was sufficient for him to do all that is possible to reshape Lesotho’s image economically and otherwise despite the many challenges facing the country. He set out numerous timelines within his 100 days in office to achieve this mission that he said the RFP has set him on, committing to a full report upon completion of the period. Now, the opposition bloc wants answers. They want a full report on the government’s performance during the first 100 days in office but government holds a different view.

The opposition bloc believes Matekane’s 100 days in office ended on Wednesday, February 8, counting from his inauguration. However, government says the 100 days will end by the end of April as the days commenced from the first cabinet meeting which took place in November last year. Matekane listed 21 key issues in his inaugural speech on October 28, 2022, which include the development and implementation plan to cut unnecessary government spending on fleet management and fuel consumption and payment of village health workers within 30 days. While expectation is that the prime minister will release a report on his performance since he took office, the Government Secretary, Lerotholi Pheko, told Public Eye that the 100 days will end in April, during which government will issue a full report. He said the 100 days commenced on November 7, 2022, on the sitting of the Cabinet of the ministries.

In an earlier interview with Public Eye Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Machesetsa Mofomobe, highlighted that the 21-point programme that the prime minister laid down included the preparation of his performance contract including those of cabinet ministers and ensure that they are made public, yet he has never seen that happen. The 30-day performance for Principal Secretaries has also not been met, Mofomobe added. “He also said his office will develop and implement a plan to cut unnecessary government spending on fleet management and fuel consumption in the first 100 days, but the first thing he does is send his deputy to attend an inauguration of the Brazilian president which cost close to M400 000.

In my opinion, the prime minister has not achieved that. “Also the village health workers were promised payment within 30 days but to date nothing has been done. I think all these have turned out to be quite a challenge for him, he has no capacity, no understanding of governance. “He thought governing a country is the same as operating one of his companies. Governance is different from managing a business. “The other point was to take stock of all government vehicles, rationalise them and provide each local authority in Lesotho with at least one vehicle to enable them to conduct the business of government, which has also not been met. The government cannot even fill up government cars to pay the elderly their pension funds,” said Mofomobe.

On the other hand, Democratic Congress (DC) Deputy Leader, Motlalentoa Letsosa, argued to this paper that Matekane’s 100 days ended on February 5 and noted that to date the government has not accomplished any of their promises. He said they counted the PM’s 100 days from his first day in the office “as the constitution states.” “The PM stated 21-point programmes which he promised to accomplish but neither one of them have been completed. For instance, the issue of the M6.1 billion that has gone missing has not been resolved. “The PM said that was the first thing he was going to do was to implement a plan which will work on making sure that the people behind this face serious consequences.

“On the 21-point programme that the PM said he will work on in the first 100 days of his tenure was also to prepare his performance contract and those of Honourable Ministers and Principal Secretaries within 30 days and make those public. “There is no such thing, the PM does not sign a contract but is appointed by the constitution. Moreover, a Principal Secretary cannot sign a contract when they already have one,” he said. Lastly, Letsosa said there is not one single thing done in the 21-point system and they should stop extending their time to April. He said if his 100 days began on his first day in office then 100 days cannot begin in October and end in April.

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