The impacts of a coalition government on investment opportunities and socio- political development in Lesotho.
Buti, Palesa Lylian.
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The recent political instability in Lesotho has led to a breakdown and collapse of two consecutive coalition governments in the past five years. Amongst other factors that have contributed to the conflict is the insufficient legal support or governance frame-work, internal conflicts within political parties and a polarized political environment. The continued instability has placed the country at the risk of losing lucrative investment deals such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Lesotho has been perceived as a risky investment destination. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of a coalition government on investment opportunities and socio-political development in Lesotho. The objective was to evaluate the functionality of coalition governments in effective policy implementation and assess the challenges that may hinder investment opportunities in Lesotho. Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony as well as the policy monitoring and policy evaluation models were utilized in this study as a measure of understanding and examining a coalition type of government and its impacts on socio political development and investment opportunities in Lesotho. The study employed a mixed- method approach in which 200 questionnaires were distributed to different business sectors and three in-depth interviews were conducted with key informants. The results show that a coalition government is problematic in Lesotho, stakeholders have no clear understanding of the context and content of the coalition type of government has the collapse of two such governments before their respective end of term. The political unrest fueled by conflict between political parties and the killing of two army commanders within the space of three years arose as a result of conflicting interest between coalition partners and has made coalition unsustainable. The country has found itself embroiled in a series of unfortunate incidents that have led to numerous social and economic hardships. As a result, the mayhem has not only created an environment that is inconducive for businesses to thrive and for investors to invest but it has also tarnished the image of the country globally. Furthermore, the study established that there is a lack of civic education and a lack of political maturity amongst political parties and their leaders. The study recommends that a more detailed frame-work on the functioning of a coalition government with clearly defined goals, objectives and guidelines be formulated to ensure future success for a coalition type of government in Lesotho.