First Lady donates to Semonkong granny
FIRST Lady ‘Masekoalane Majoro on Thursday turned the sod to mark the beginning of the construction of a two roomed house for an 81-year-old Semonkong woman.
The octogenarian, ‘Mapoopa Phumane of Ha-Lesala village, Semonkong, has been living in a dilapidated mud hut with her disabled grandchildren aged 31 and 23.
The ground breaking ceremony will lead to the construction of a two-roomed house. The house is being constructed with the assistance of businessman, Lebona Lephema, of Lephema Executive Transport and Maluti Mountain Cement (MMC).
Mr Lephema was approached for assistance by Ms Majoro and his companies collectively pledged M120 000 to construct the house and furnish it.
Ms Phumane has Rethabile Mahopolo of Semonkong Children’s Community Centre to thank after she alerted the First Lady’s Office of her plight.
Officials from Ms Majoro’s office visited Ms Phumane’s home on 14 August 2020 and reported to the First Lady.
And on Thursday, Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, Social Development Minister ‘Matebatso Doti, Agriculture and Food Security deputy minister Likopo Mahase, and Local Government deputy minister Moshe Leoma took to Semonkong to witness the ground breaking ceremony.
The event was also attended by deputy Water minister Lepota Sekola, deputy army commander, Matela Matobakele and other government officials.
An emotional Ms Phumane was at pains to express her gratitude for the project. She said she was happy to see her lifetime dream come true.
“I am grateful to you all for what I am witnessing today,” Ms Phumane said.
“God is showing me His mercy in my dying age. All my life, I did not know what I was going to do for me and my grandchildren to live well. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. My aging body will relax now. The visits and help I have been getting lately are giving me hope.
“Today’s event gives me hope that if I were to die, my grandchildren will be taken care of and will have a stable roof over their heads. My neighbours have been very helpful by consistently checking on us whenever they can. Today I can wipe off my tears. May God bless you all,” Ms Phumane said.
Major General Matobakele said a construction team from the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) will build the house.
He said the team is already stationed at the site and will start work immediately.
“We have received an order from authorities to build the house and that is exactly what we will do,” Major General Matobakele said.
Ms Doti said her ministry has undertaken to commit Ms Phumane’s children to a rehabilitation centre in Butha-Buthe following a psychological evaluation by officers from the Ministry of Health.
“The children will be taken to Thuso E Tsoa Kae (home for the disabled) in Butha-Buthe. This is to relieve Nkhono (Ms Phumane) whose body is frail and can no longer shoulder the weight of her grandchildren,” Ms Doti said.
“They will be equipped with life skills and will visit their granny regular during schools’ vacation. They will not stay there for the rest of their lives, so I urge the relatives and members of the community to assist them when they come back,” Ms Doti said.
Ms Majoro expressed gratitude to Mr Lephema for offering his help in building the house saying her office was incapacitated to carry out the task because of its dry coffers.
“The office is broke. I am not lying. My staffers wondered what we were going to do to help Nkhono Phumane. I did not have an answer but I knew that somehow, we would find help. We drafted a letter to ask for help from Lephema Executive Transport and they offered assistance,” Ms Majoro said.
For his part, Dr Majoro expressed gratitude to all the people who were involved in the project and promised that he would visit the home once the construction is completed.