ARGUABLY Lesotho’s richest man, Sam Matekane made the news headlines this week venturing into politics. He is admired by many as a business leader but it remains to be seen if he will command the same amount of respect in the political arena.
March 25, 2022
4 min read
Matekane owes it to the voters
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Already, haters are yelling at his flaws and are trying to take his skeletons out of the closet.
In the West, many successful business people have made successful presidents and many Basotho are pinning their hopes on Matekane to achieve a similar streak.
Basotho mentality and, by extension, collective society, expect the business mogul to bring change in the sterile Lesotho political environment.
Morally and ethically they would love to see him root out corruption should he come into power. Yet, the power to even prosecute politicians or demand extradition of criminals seems to have eluded the incumbent and most recent prime ministers.
But he has made his choices with whom he should manage his political stable. The best choice is none other than Nthomeng Majara, who was appointed the Chief Justice of Lesotho in September 2014.
Majara took over from Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, who had been the Acting Chief Justice since April 2013.
As of June 2017, Majara was one of 12 nominees for an election of six judges to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to represent the African States regional group.
In October 2017, the controversial Majara was living in a "lavish Maseru mansion" sub-let from High Court judge Teboho Moiloa, despite government internal auditors having condemned the arrangement six months earlier.
When the end came, it was also not cheap in a court settlement of an estimated M9 million in an offer for an early retirement.
So, the other part of Matekane’s preparation could not be without the roping in of former central bank governor Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane. Dr Matlanyane has had an illustrious career as both an academic and a central banker.
She has basically juggled an unstable political environment with price stability and if anyone is suitable to run the economy of this country, it is Dr Matlanyane.
She took reasonable care of the monetary operations in the country so that we could achieve a stable exchange rate and inflation. She has been instrumental in the development of capital markets, specifically the equity market.
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From introducing Central Securities Depository System (CSD) to treasury bonds, Dr Matlanyane was relentless to further develop capital markets beyond treasury bonds, resulting in the introduction of the Capital Markets Regulations 2014.
She was cautious not to suffocate the market with strict regulations, but to promote and nurture market fairness, orderliness and efficiency through minimum disclosure requirements.
Before she could leave office, Dr Matlanyane made sure Lesotho’s maiden stock exchange was up and running with the listing of a property management company RNB Properties.
She has set the foundation and the tone of a platform that should unlock this country’s fortunes in trading shares, bonds and derivatives.
It is the business and corporate leaders who should now bring the change in this country’s political landscape. They owe it to the voters of this country to bring back Lesotho to its former glory where real politicians have failed dismally.