Mo­sisili ap­peals for congress unity

. . . as pre­mier vows to im­prove so­cial wel­fare­fare scheme

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli ’Marafaele Mohloboli

PRIME Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili (pic­tured) has im­plored the congress par­ties to join hands to en­sure a re­sound­ing vic­tory to form a sta­ble gov­ern­ment that can last the dis­tance after the 3 June 2017 na­tional elec­tions.

Dr Mo­sisili said this at a rally early this week in Kolonyama con­stituency in the Leribe dis­trict to drum up sup­port for his party ahead of the 3 June elec­tions.

The elec­tions were an­nounced by His Majesty King Let­sie III in the af­ter­math of last month’s suc­cess­ful par­lia­men­tary no confidence mo­tion by the op­po­si­tion bloc against the DEMO­CRATIC Congress (DC) leader and Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili says his party will pri­ori­tise the wel­fare of se­nior ci­ti­zens and per­sons liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties if they are re-elected to gov­ern­ment.

Dr Mo­sisili said this at a rally early this week in Kolonyama con­stituency in the Leribe dis­trict to drum up sup­port for his party ahead of the 3 June elec­tions.

The elec­tions were an­nounced by His Majesty King Let­sie III in the af­ter­math of last month’s suc­cess­ful par­lia­men­tary no confidence mo­tion by the op­po­si­tion bloc against the seven par­ties’ coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

Ap­prox­i­mately 1200 mainly DC sup­port­ers at­tended the rally to­gether with a sprin­kling of Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) mem­bers.

The LCD, whose leader, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing is deputy Prime Min­is­ter, agreed to an elec­toral al­liance with the DC aimed at en­sur­ing the two congress par­ties win enough seats to forge a coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

Dr Mo­sisili spoke of the need to ex­plore ways of im­prov­ing the wel­fare of se­nior ci­ti­zens in­clud­ing in­creas­ing their monthly pen­sions which are cur­rently as low as M450.

“We are look­ing at ways to in- crease the el­derly’s pen­sion and I am say­ing to those who will be elected to form a congress gov­ern­ment that one of the few things that we can do other than in­creas­ing their pen­sion is to give them cards which will al­low them to board pub­lic trans­port with­out pay­ing,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

“The trans­port own­ers will be taken on board in this ini­tia­tive where they shall record that they fer­ried an el­derly pas­sen­ger and later claim from the rel­e­vant min­istry with the cor­rob­o­ra­tion of the ev­i­dence gath­ered from the card.”

He said the ini­tia­tive would also be ex­tended to the dis­abled and “gov­ern­ment shall see to it that there are grants read­ily avail­able”.

He said the vis­ually im­paired who had skills would also be given pri­or­ity in job place­ments “be­cause it is said that in or­der for one to eat they shall have to sweat”.

He said a bet­ter life could only be achieved if the elec­torate voted for the congress par­ties, adding, “Vot­ing for the na­tion­als (na­tion­al­ist par­ties) is as good as vot­ing for death”.

One of the DC sup­port­ers, 90 year old Ma­joro Ma­joro ex­pressed confidence in Dr Mo­sisili’s lead­er­ship, adding, “I be­lieve that even now he is not just mak­ing empty prom­ises by say­ing we shall be is­sued cards to board pub­lic trans- port foror free”.

“It is time we were ap­pre­ci­ated as the e se­nior ci­ti­zens of this coun­try,” said Mr Ma­joro, who is also the coun­cilor oun­cilor for Manka vil­lage in the con­stituency. nstituency.

He fur­ther stated that the free trans­port­port ini­tia­tive would be a wel­comeme so­lu­tion to the fi­nan­cial con­straintsraints that had of­ten made it dif­fi­cult fi­cult or im­pos­si­ble to visit some of his rel­a­tives.

Another other se­nior ci­ti­zen, 82 year old ’ Maboi­tumelo Mo­ra­mang ex­pressed sed gratii tude to Drr Mo- sisili’s’s ad­minin­is­tra­tion ation for pro­vid­ing them with pen­sion grants, say­ing this had made life bear­able.

“I don’t know what my life wouldd be like were it not for Mo­sisili’ss money.

“I can an now af­ford a de­cent meal and save a bit though it’s not enough,gh, but hon­estly who else wouldd have given it to me when my own wn kids have only seen me as a bur­den over the years. I am go­ing to vote for Mo­sisili come hail or r sun­shine,” Ms Mo­ra­mang said as she wiped her eyes with a snuff-soiled soiled hand­ker­chief.

there was yet another de­fec­tion Con­tin­uesin­ues on Page 22 . . .

which led to the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of our num­bers in par­lia­ment.”

He said in 2007 the num­bers de­te­ri­o­rated again although the LCD still won the elec­tions and this con­tin­ued to 2012 where their poor show­ing forced them into a coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

“We could not form a gov­ern­ment as DC and LCD even though we still com­manded the ma­jor­ity be­cause we had just parted ways and our wounds were still bleed­ing.

“This gave the na­tion­al­ists a lee way hence they tri­umphed and took over gov­ern­ment.

“Once beaten twice shy. Why should we al­low them to win again like they did be­fore?

“The only way that will make us win is to join forces. There are only two par­ties and there is no neu­tral party, it’s ei­ther you are congress or na­tional.”

In terms of the elec­toral pact, the DC will con­test in 54 con­stituen­cies and the LCD in 25.

“This is a clear in­di­ca­tion of how com­mit­ted we are to en­sure that the congress be­comes gov­ern­ment.”

“LCD had ev­ery right to con­test in all the 80 con­stituen­cies but for the sake of congress to gov­ern, they ac­cepted to con­test in only 25.

“I there­fore ap­peal to all of you to heed to this strat­egy so that we win these elec­tions.

“If we can’t re­mem­ber how much we suf­fered at the hands of the na­tion­als when they sus­pended the con­sti­tu­tion, I would like to re­mind you that one philoso­pher says “those who can­not re­mem­ber the past are con­demned to re­peat it,” and another one says “we study history be­cause the present is deeply rooted in the past, so let’s go out in great num­bers and vote for the congress,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

He after 50 years of in­de­pen­dence, the elec­torate could not af­ford to re­peat pre­vi­ous mis­takes, adding the fu­ture of democ­racy lay in the congress par­ties.

“Vote for life so that you and your an­ces­tors may live hap­pily. To vote for the na­tion­als is to vote for death.”

Dr Mo­sisli also said that it was not nec­es­sary for His Majesty to con­sult the State Coun­cil be­fore dis­solv­ing par­lia­ment as Sec­tion 83 (4) (b) of the Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides that the King may dis­solve the House “with the ad­vice of the Prime Min­is­ter and noth­ing binds the state coun­cil to be con­sulted”.

He said they “were in a steady gov- ern­ment with po­lit­i­cal al­lies un­til (former DC deputy leader Monyane) Moleleki re­belled and joined forces with the na­tion­als and passed a vote of no confidence against me”.

He said he did not even wait for the stip­u­lated three days be­fore ad­vis­ing His Majesty to dis­solve par­lia­ment.

“Im­me­di­ately when we left par­lia­ment, I ran to the palace to ad­vise the King to dis­solve par­lia­ment.

“You should have seen me race along Kingsway with my let­ter and le­gal in­stru­ments in hand.

“They thought I was try­ing to threaten them; they lied to them­selves by be­liev­ing that His Majesty would not heed my ad­vice.”

Dr Mo­sisili said it was sur­pris­ing that the same op­po­si­tion who once em­barked on a “hands off our king” protest march were the ones who cited him in court pa­pers.

“They also wanted the gov­ern­ment to be shut down and be barred from us­ing any fi­nances. They were try­ing to put the gov­ern­ment in a crit­i­cal state, how would the gov­ern­ment op­er­ate with­out money” Dr Mo­sisili asked.

Dr Mo­sisili’s re­marks were in ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to two court ap­pli­ca­tions, one of them by prom­i­nent lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Haae Phoofolo King’s Coun­sel (KC) who last month filed a con­sti­tu­tional ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing to stay the de­ci­sion by His Majesty to dis­solve par­lia­ment and call for the 3 June 2017 elec­tions.

BNP spokesper­son, Mach­esetsa Mo­fo­mobe and po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist, Mo­hato Seleke also filed a sep­a­rate con­sti­tu­tional ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing to in­ter­dict Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Tlo­hang Sekhamane from with­draw­ing funds from the main bank ac­count of the gov­ern­ment start­ing on 31 March 2017.

How­ever, they lost the cases and Dr Mo­sisili said they were “still rolling on the ground” after the losses.

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