MASERU — The Basotho National Party (BNP) says it will upgrade bus stops and street vendor stalls nationwide if the party wins Saturday’s general election.
BNP leader, Thesele ‘Maseribane, said this during a tour of local bus stops and vendors’ markets as the former ruling party stepped up its election campaign.
“These developments are supposed to be implemented by the government because these are places where people conduct their daily business,” ‘Maseribane said.
“These are also places where people spend most of their time. Passengers also spend their money in these places therefore they needed to be user-friendly.”
‘Maseribane also pledged to upgrade Lesotho’s fire department to ensure it is ready to respond to emergencies.
He said the lack of safety measures was worrying because vendors use fire, mostly gas, to cook but there was no immediate help in sight in cases of emergency.
‘Maseribane said municipalities should ensure there is safety and security at all times at bus stops and markets countrywide.
Flanked by a group of BNP youths clad in their blue, green and red T-shirts, ‘Maseribane said he spent M3 000 “boosting vendors’ businesses” at the Mafafa, Sefika and Metro bus stops.
“With the money I bought food and ate with them and my entourage. This was to empower the vendors and assure them that we care for them,” ‘Maseribane said.
He said that the government should introduce programmes to equip vendors with skills on food management and handling “to make them eligible for the tourist market”.
“Vendors selling food should be taught about food safety in order to improve their market and attract more customers,” he said.
The outspoken BNP leader said he envisioned a Lesotho that also catered for the needs of vendors to help them deal with the country’s bitter winters.
Lesotho’s bus stops and vendors’ markets are mostly open spaces where people are forced to erect makeshift structures for protection from the sun, rain and harsh winters.
‘Maseribane said in the event the party fails to win the election, the BNP will continue to “pursue people’s development and economic freedom”.
“We will still develop people through programmes initiated by the BNP and sponsored by our friends in the international community,” ‘Maseribane said.
“Besides, investors are not invited only by the government. We will develop programmes with help from international organisations,” he said.
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