Youths protest MPS’ loans
Public Works and Transport Minister Tsoeu Mokeretla yesterday promised “prompt response” to a petition presented by a group of youths demanding that government should recover the M32 million the Ministry of Finance paid First National bank to settle loans taken by members of the Eighth Parliament.
The youths had demanded that their petition should be responded to within 14 working days. The protestors said the money should be recovered from the MPS, and also criticised the interest-free loan scheme for the legislators as “nothing short of corruption”.
They argued it is against “all known basic principles of morality, good governance and legality”.
The small group of protestors had marched from the Racecourse in Thetsane to King Moshoeshoe i’s statue in the city centre where they delivered their petitions addressed to the Senate President, National Assembly speaker, Minister of Finance and Minister of Development Planning.
A huge contingent of police officers monitored the march. The petitions read in part: “Members of Parliament are individually entitled to an interest-free loan of up to M500 000 and the government acts as guarantor.
“This means the interest is paid through taxpayers’ monies and in the event an MP defaults on repayments, the capital amount is also paid out of public coffers.
“This is happening in a least-developed country where more than half the population lives on less than $1 per day, a country that has the world’s second-highest number of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
“We elected the honourable members to parliament for the betterment of us all, not to enrich themselves at the expense of us all.”
youths protest over the M32 million paid to a local bank to settle MPS’ loans yesterday.