How Basotho intergenerational wealth requires re-thinking, re-memberment and re-setting.
“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 NUL is simply a microcosm of what Lesotho has degenerated into. There is no culture or ethic of accountability in Lesotho’s public institutions at all. We all know this very well. Moral degeneration and economic regression shall therefore remain our portion until we have what I shall call The Great Basotho Reckoning and Reset. That reckoning, and its attendant reset, cannot happen without, first, the truth. We need to tell the truth about this society hle Basotho, otherwise we have nothing or very little, at best, to celebrate this bicentennial year.
NUL, and its shenanigans, simply reflects the broader societal culture of unaccountability and impunity.
Last week I observed that, “NUL is an institution where there is zero accountability for the most dastardly misdeeds that academics and non-academics can commit.” I further observed that some of these misdeeds are personally known to me and some have been alleged to me by students over the years. Student narratives permeated by shock and horror, not to mention disappointment, having witnessed, heard or being subjected to behaviour that has destroyed our social fabric, from adults given the responsibility to steward their young lives.
This then begs the question: What have successive NUL administrations done to address and rout out this criminal behaviour? An even more relevant question is: what have successive Government of Lesotho (GOL) administrations done to address and rout out criminal behaviour in our national affairs? Nothing.
I mentioned routine sexual harassment (one of the hidden perks of the job as per our national hidden curriculum), the leakage of examination papers by academics and non-academic staff for cash and/or sex favours especially those with access to such papers, and the selling of crystal methamphetamines and cocaine to students by lecturers in one particular Faculty.
I will cite two examples (one this week and the other one next week) known to me personally which show how deeply entrenched these degenerate and regressive behaviours are in our public institutions due to a lack of accountability.
An expatriate colleague of mine had a harem of about 5 girls from Year 1 to their fifth and final Year. In all these years, he supplied them with examination papers and other academic favours in exchange for drunken binges at his house at the NUL staff village and Lord knows what else was exchanged over the years. The classmates of this harem knew about it because, over the years, the young ladies got brazen and happily complacent and eventually began to brag about their scheme in class. The final year of the LLB is quite tough because, in addition to the courses, there is the small matter of the mini dissertation, which is 10, 000 words long. The stakes are pretty high indeed. The harem of girls then became Mean Girls and started taunting their classmates about how they would pass no matter what because my colleague would, as per the usual, hook them up. They even said something along the lines of, “Well, you fail because you want to.” Something eventually snapped and the rest of the class got together to discuss petitioning the office of the Dean, former Ombudsman, Advocate ‘Mats’oana Fanana. Dean Fanana was a no nonsense lady who conducted an in-house investigation post haste. I was personally involved in this scenario because my examination paper was leaked by my colleague who also happened to be the HOD of my Department. Not only was he misusing these girls but he also misused the power of his office as HOD to take my paper from my hands and give it to his harem. A disrespectful expatriate if ever there was one. Ka SeSotho re re, “O ne a futhumalletsoe ke naha.” Lesotho had become so warm and accommodating for him that he thought nothing of committing these acts with gross impunity. But why wouldn’t he be so free to operate like this? He had gotten away with it for 4 years!
Hang on to your seatbelts dear reader, we shall finish this next week.
Mothepa Ndumo writes in her personal capacity.
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.