Lesotho suffers colonial legacy

TP Motsoeneng's letter, "Lesotho has weak leaders" refers.

TP Motsoeneng's letter, "Lesotho has weak leaders" refers.

Basotho leaders are strong and industrious by their very nature. This is supported by the adage Kgosi ke kgosi ka batho - which loosely translated means a leader is a leader because of his followers.

What is weak is Lesotho's Western style economy which has been subjected to perpetual economic dependence by colonialism. Under colonial rule and the post-independence tutelage of international donors, the country was advised to focus on agriculture as its mainstay economy. It therefore relied on South Africa and other countries for manufactured goods.

When agriculture experienced droughts and price shocks, Lesotho was forced to take foreign aid. To make matters worse, when regimes changed from time to time, apartheid South African companies took advantage of the fragile politico-economic environment and bribed the government with lucrative deals.

Bearing in mind that Lesotho's dependency is a historical conundrum, it makes no sense for a country with a weak economy to wage widespread security and intelligence operations. Hence it uses any available bilateral or regional security framework to curb security threats in its own and Africa's interests.

Kgothatso Shai, Pretoria