Mets­ing meets ven­dors, taxi op­er­a­tors

Lesotho Times - - News - Keiso Mohloboli

Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, on Tues­day met Maseru street ven­dors and taxi op­er­a­tors at Se­fika Bus Stop, and urged them to vote for his party in the 28 Fe­bru­ary par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

Mr Mets­ing told the restive au­di­ence that should the LCD win the poll and he be­comes prime min­is­ter, the con­struc­tion of sheds ini­ti­ated by Maseru City Coun­cil two years ago and Se­fika Bus Stop’s paving would be pri­ori­tised.

The LCD leader told the group he never for­got about their plight when he be­came part of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment as deputy pre­mier and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and Chief­tain­ship Af­fairs min­is­ter in June 2012.

“I promised to im­prove your work­ing con­di­tions in 2012 and Coun­cil started build­ing sheds where you could sell your prod­ucts in com­fort, as well as paving the bus stop to en­sure a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment.

It’s true I didn’t fin­ish the two projects but I am sure you are aware this was due to the fights be­tween me and my part­ners in gov­ern­ment. Th­ese fights led to this early elec­tion we are go­ing to hold on Satur­day, which is why I am here to ap­peal for your votes,” Mr Mets­ing said.

“Mov­ing around the city made me aware of the ad­verse con­di­tions you were fac­ing on a daily ba­sis, hence th­ese in­ter­ven­tions by coun­cil.

I could see ven­dors were ex­posed to very hot con­di­tions in sum­mer and ex­tremely cold weather in win­ter.

They also com­plained about lack of stor­age fa­cil­i­ties for their prod­ucts, which re­sulted in their stock de­com­pos­ing and loss of in­come.

That’s why there were th­ese in­ter­ven­tions but un­for­tu­nately, like I said, the projects could not be fin­ished be­cause of the prob­lems I had with the other par­ties in gov­ern­ment, namely the ABC (All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion) and BNP (Ba­sotho Na­tional Party).”

how­ever, one of the ven­dors, ‘Maremi ‘Ma­bathoana, told Mr Mets­ing that they could no longer trust him af­ter let­ting them down over the past two years he was both deputy pre­mier and also re­spon­si­ble for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

“When we gave you our votes, you started th­ese projects you have men­tioned but then de­cided not to com­plete them. How can we trust you that things will be dif­fer­ent this time around?

“I, for one, had been so con­fi­dent that you would do some­thing for us when you took charge of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment min­istry un­der which the MCC falls, but for two years, you did noth­ing for poor peo­ple like us.“the MCC Act of 1962 does not al­low us to cook in our sheds, yet our cus­tomers need freshly-cooked food and they want to see it be­ing pre­pared.

We pay monthly fees to coun­cil, but noth­ing is be­ing done to im­prove our plight; we con­tinue to suf­fer, and now you say you want our votes. Is this fair?” Ms ‘Ma­bathoana asked.

Ms ‘Ma­bathoana fur­ther said she now un­der­stood why women turn to pros­ti­tu­tion.“they put their money into busi­nesses hop­ing to earn an hon­est living, but be­cause of re­stric­tive laws, they find them­selves run­ning losses. With no one to help them, the women end up sell­ing their bod­ies.”

Mean­while, some of the taxi op­er­a­tors mock­ingly told Mr Mets­ing that he had vis­ited their work­sta­tion with­out con­sult­ing them.

This was in ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to the LCD leader’s com­plaints that Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane was not con­sult­ing him when mak­ing key de­ci­sions in vi­o­la­tion of their Coali­tion Agree­ment upon which the tri­par­tite gov­ern­ment was formed in June 2012.

The com­plaints were among the rea­sons which led to the col­lapse of the gov­ern­ment and elec­tions two years ahead of sched­ule.

“You didn’t con­sult us be­fore com­ing here so you should pay us if you want us to lis­ten to you,” the op­er­a­tors shouted.

How­ever, Mr Mets­ing re­mained calm through­out the de­ri­sion and later told the group he had heard their con­cerns.“we will ad­dress your is­sues if you give us your votes on Satur­day,” he promised.

LCD LEADER MO­THETJOA METS­ING min­gles with street ven­dors AND taxi op­er­a­tors At SE­FIKA Bus Stop on TUES­DAY.

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