Opinion & Leaders

When government fellows can’t walk the talk

When the Premier Dr Moeketsi Majoro introduced the first phase of the now Alert Level Red Lockdown-induced curfew, there was a joke going around social media cycles to the effect that maybe if he were to be given a taste of the life of a typical working class youth then he would understand how difficult it is to be home by 2000hrs. It was actually depicted in graphical terms that if he were to drive a boys’ toy (VW Polo) with liquor and nubile damsels plenteous, he might be able to understand.

Pointless as it might have appeared, the little story rang a different bell and drove home an interesting message-walking the talk.

For the most of the time, the elites who are at the top of the food chain and having it quite easy, are the ilk of members of the Cabinet or the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) who are tasked with the responsibility of leading the response over the pandemic.

While they are largely responsible for the decisions such as how and when people should behave a certain way in accordance with the health protocols to contain the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, they are mostly the last to feel the pinch of effects of their decisions.

For instance, when they, having assessed the situation, decide that people should stay at home and not go to their different workplaces, they did not feel the effects of that decision because for starters, they still got to go to work hence their pay cheque is a guaranteed (and maybe with a couple more thousands of Maloti as bonuses). Maybe the kind of effects that they may feel is driving around the deserted streets looking like a ghost town.

It is for this reason that it becomes almost insurmountable for them to practice what they preach-walking the talk.

One of the provisional regulations of the current lockdown is that physical meetings should be as far as possible avoided in order to minimize the risk of infection transmission through stampedes. It was also specifically stipulated in black and white that funerals be attended only by those who need to be there, that is to say, family members and close relatives. However, barely three days into the lockdown, Sports Minister Likeleli Tampane was among the throngs of mourners at a funeral of a young soccer player in clear defiance of the lockdown regulations.

As if that was not enough, on Wednesday January 20, 2021, some six days into the lockdown, the media wakes up to the news of the whole Office of the Prime-Minister calling for a physical media briefing, where a virtual one could have been utilized, in a show of no-regard for provisions and recommendations of the Covid-19 response.

If government personnel are unable to abide by their own rules how are we to be encouraged into the understanding that all are possible if even their authors are unable to walk the talk?

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