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Is Sam the modern-day Moses?


The Lesotho’s business mogul Sam Matekane made a startling unexpected political move that sent shocking waves throughout the country this week.

Many chant positive hymns towards this new curvature of his life terming it as the turning point which will indisputably shape a new change in Lesotho’s economy and Basotho’s prosperity in the same regard.

That a ray of hope has finally lit upon the land in the Mountain Kingdom. Viewing him as Moses from the Bible to liberate the Israelites (Basotho) from the chains of poverty, unemployment and things will eventually change for the better. 

It is true that the latter proved his mettle in the business industry, topping the charts and becoming a multimillionaire, providing support to the hungry ordinary Basotho and the government. 

Well some are neither moved nor amused with his venture in the political sphere, naming him as no different to his political counterparts and that it is only a matter of time before he shows his true colours once or if he becomes the next Prime Minister after the anticipated September or October polls.

A relevant example relates to a feat that was carried by the founder of All Basotho Convention (ABC) Motsoahae Thomas Thabane who took the country by storm back in 2007, where almost all Basotho towed behind him, regarding him as ‘heaven sent’ to rescue the sinking ship only to put more weight, contributing towards the country’s demise.

Newsday took a different view in the whole spectrum of Matekane’s venture into political space, analysing and probing some key elements inter alia, the weight and influence he likely brings in altering the political system for better or for worse.

To begin with, it is an inevitable fact that he comes loaded with chunks of Maloti notes and selectively surrounding himself with some recognised business elites and technocrats in his faction.

The business tycoon took much of his time supporting vulnerable people and building empires inclusive of Matekane Group of Companies (MGC), building schools and a stadium at his hometown Mantšonyane. He did not hesitate to inject portion of his millions to help the struggling government during the days when Covid-19 when the pandemic ran rampant, securing vaccines for Basotho.

He dug down his pocket to help the stranded students in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion earlier this month while the government was hands akimbo. A fortnight ago he dressed 1000 Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) members where he purchased 1000 uniform, boots, caps et al, before pulling the same stint with the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) where he included Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds as well as an ambulance which sparked a series of debates in every corner of Maseru whether he was doing all to win people’s votes. But that’s news for another day.

A curious question is whether the latter will bring a different mind-set in the political atmosphere. If he takes the helm of the premiership, will he work to mitigate the surging corruption or nepotism in the country or is he also gunning to have his hand in the public coffers to dress his already established empires. Could it be that he intends to bring change? Or interestingly, is he bringing an unfair competition in the game?

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