The entire Basotho nation shook in astonishment upon the belated 2019/2020 Fiscal Budget presentation by the Minister of Finance Dr Moeketsi Majoro on Tuesday 12th March. It is no doubt that the nation, Civil Servants to be precise had expected a fortune from the government. Clearly such disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy, the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation as Eric Hoffer quotes.
The bitter truth to swallow is that things are as they are, people suffer only when they imagine different, besides ‘it is not the salary that makes one rich, but one’s spending habits.’ Perhaps if civil servants had proper financial education, there wouldn’t be so much fuss on the government’s inability to increment salaries.
Assuming the government is responsible in developing people’s lives is the root of all disappointment. Since it has been more than 50 years of ‘independence’, how startling it is for a nation to be a pit of all misfortune; more than 50% of the nation living below poverty line, high rate of youth unemployment, and high rate of HIV positive citizens, it could only get worse.
It’s high time the Basotho nation starts saving the excuses and realize that it’s not about how the government treats the governed, it is about how the citizens direct the government. The worst tragedy is the nation’s incompetence to use the power it possess over the government, to look forward but never wait for the government to lead.
Mrs ‘Maseli Moloi of Mafeteng who has been a street vendor since 2010 says Basotho are too dependent that even the slightest things they can’t do for themselves. She adds that even if the salaries were incremented, it could have still not been enough since most people have pinned their desire for contentment on what the government does for them, not the opportunities they could create as a collective. She says more citizens can hardly feed themselves from home agricultural practices but rather rejoice in buying almost everything from the shops.
“You will hear people complaining about prices hiking; meanwhile one does not even have a small garden to grow the simplest vegetables,” Moloi expressed. She believes that no salary increment for civil servants should serve as the baptism of fire, for she says most servants do not even have good reasons for those expectations apart from ‘life is expensive’ cliché.
Moloi says she always has vegetables on her gardens, but due to unavoidable conditions of severe drought, she waters the gardens with the same water she baths with. For her this daily practice is called finding alternatives to survive. Moloi went on to urges people to start growing their own vegetables, and if desperate measures are encountered, she appeals them to use her irrigation method, for beggars can’t be choosers.