Leading a thinly balanced coalition government is challenge enough for any Prime Minister, but taking office after your predecessor is implicated in the murder of his former wife and on the eve of a global pandemic would severely test the resilience of most. Undaunted, the Rt. Hon. Moeketsi Majoro, Prime Minister of the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, is upbeat about his test of leadership over the past six months. Interviewed by Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program, Prime Minister Majoro said: “Getting Ministers who are politicians in their own right to buy my vision requires persuasion one by one…” Some Ministers have power to disrupt government if they don’t buy your vision the Prime Minister continued. “You have to be able to listen and gradually guide the process toward a unified vision. Building a collective vision takes a lot of work and frankly, sometimes you have to wield a bit of a big stick” he added.
Completely surrounded by South Africa, the country worst affected by COVID-19 in Africa, Lesotho’s 2.1 million people were at serious risk. Prime Minister Majoro took decisive and radical action early on, shutting borders and mandating public health measures such as mask wearing and hand washing. These measures, together with the fact that a large proportion of the population live in widely scattered mountain villages, has helped spare Lesotho the worst health effects of the pandemic, but like most countries, the social and economic repercussions are a severe setback to the country’s development progress.
The Prime Minister says he is tackling the challenge of steering his country’s recovery by applying one of the key tenets he took from his participation in the 2017 Harvard Ministerial Forum for Finance Ministers. Recognizing the multi-sectoral nature of the problem, he is leading a strong drive for cross-government collaboration, requiring Ministers to work together to achieve shared goals. “We defined our goals as government” the Prime Minister says. The top priority now he says is to enhancing government performance by reducing the size of the bureaucracy and enhancing the role of the Office of the Prime Minister in directing and monitoring delivery and results across Ministries.
Listen to full Interview with The Rt. Hon. Moeketsi Majoro: https://youtu.be/V_nqHWK4j6Q