How the Solar Frazer GMBH v Government of Lesotho debacle raise intergenerational wealth versus debt questions for Basotho.

(Part 1)

“Here’s my instruction: walk in the Spirit, and let the Spirit bring order to your life. If you do, you will never give in to your selfish and sinful cravings.”

~ Galatians 5:16

(The Voice)

I ended my reintroduction piece last week by informing the readers about the intent behind my return to the public square via opinion editorializing. Herewith a direct quote from my conclusion:

That said, I am back to explore issues revolving around our economy as a Modern Nation State which was founded in 1824 by our esteemed and renowned Founder and Chief Mohlomi’s mentee, King Moshoeshoe I. Not only was our Founding Spiritual Father a master tactician, statesman, and diplomat of note, but he was also an economist who governed our economy astutely. These are the stories that need to be told and I shall, through this platform, trace our economic prowess to further back than 1824 and, along the way, dispel some internal and external perceptions about “us” and our story. We do not know who we are…if we did, our collective conduct, our collective mindsets (mindsets around family, community, entrepreneurship, governance, economic policy, foreign relations etc), our collective dialogue, would feel, smell, and sound, differently. Our collective outcomes would be a lot different. Our collective expectations of those who govern us would be a lot different. In this 200th year, by the grace of God, we shall be retracing our steps and finding US.

I made the observation that King Moshoeshoe I planned and governed our economy astutely and part of that astute, forward-looking, strategy is evident in the Law for Trade 1859 that was eventually codified in the Laws of Lerotholi 1907 as amended. The Law for Trade 1859, as I note in my upcoming Labour Law textbook titled “The Comprehensive Labour Law of Lesotho” to be published by LexisNexis, was a protectionist piece of legislation passed with the regulatory objective of protecting Basotho industries and the economy from itinerant traders. Our Founder and King did THAT ladies and gentlemen #BOOM #ThereItIs.

Protectionism is an essential part of astute economic strategy although, of course, depending on who you speak with, it has since become a bad word in neoliberal circles which have institutionalised deeper regional and global economic integration. Fine by me. I am no longer dogmatic about ideas, they all, like I now insist, contain a kernel of truth in them and ours is to dialogue our way to those kernels and reach a consensus. Protectionism and liberalism, and other isms, can co-exist and I say this because King Moshoeshoe I was protectionist up to a certain defined point. Our Kingdom warmly welcomed academics, missionaries, yes, traders from all over the world, politicians and characters of every hue and persuasion and this is partly why our King attained renown as a very accommodating statesman who approached all with love. The GOAT of mentorship, Chief Mohlomi, imparted all those values to a willing vessel and today, we can tell a very edifying story about our collective past.

The combined legacies of our Founding Fathers and Mothers are the very epitome of intergenerational wealth. I, as an academic and opinion editorialist, can draw from this rich legacy today in 2024 and begin to make sense of my spiritual, material and mental condition. What a privilege, what a rich inheritance.

With the Solar Frazer GMBH saga, whose genesis began exactly 165 years after King Moshoeshoe I passed the Law for Trade, we cannot wax lyrical, in fact, we can only lament. What are we passing on to the next generations of Basotho when we have politicians and former Ministers, such as Temeki Phoenix Ts’olo, and certain members of the then ABC government saddling us with a debt amounting to M1.2 billion?

I read the Solar Frazer GMBH press release dated 12th of January 2024 issued after the High Court of South Africa (Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg) handed down a judgment in the German company’s favour. It is a gloating piece of con artistry from end to finish riddled with lies about Dr Moeketsi Majoro and even dares to suggest that former Minister Temeki Ts’olo has been EXONORATED and deserves an apology.

Good Lord.

Mothepa Ndumo is a Legal Academic at the National University of Lesotho, a Pension Law Scholar in the Faculty of Law registered for a PhD focusing on the domestic investment of pension funds, a Thomas Psychometrics Practitioner, an Industrial Sociologist and Certified Executive and Leadership Coach. She is an Alum of the National University of Lesotho, the University of Cape Town and the University of Namibia.

Advocate Ndumo is the Founder & CEO of the Tataiso-Bhotani Group which has interests in corporate training, accredited coaching and mentorship and film, tv series and talk shows and publishing across multimedia platforms. Her passions are Lesotho, Afrika, indigenous systems of governance, history, young people and she is a lover of animals and of The Creator.

Mothepa Ndumo writes in her personal capacity.