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I will expose underperforming MPs-Thabane

’Marafaele Mohloboli

PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane has threatened to expose non-performing legislators from his party so that they answer to their respective constituencies.

Dr Thabane who is also the leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), said this at a well-attended Sunday rally of his party at Masianokeng in the Maseru district.

He said ensuring service delivery was entirely the role of elected leaders who must follow-up with relevant ministries and departments to ensure that the people are served.

Dr Thabane said if leaders continue to renege on service delivery, he would be forced to put them in a spot where they will be taken to task by their constituencies to answer to why they would have failed.

“Where voters decry service delivery, I shall not hesitate to put the one responsible on the spot so that they be asked (why they would have failed) and I shall refer them (failing leaders) to look at what I have done in my constituency in Ha Abia,” Dr Thabane said.

Dr Thabane said that his constituency was no exception to the challenges faced by other constituencies but he has worked hand in hand with the people to ensure that services are provided.

“It is quite difficult to get anything done if there is no follow-up with the relevant ministries from the people. Nothing can be implemented if there is no one monitoring the processes.

“Whoever fails to deliver to their people shall be answerable to them and not me as the Prime Minister. You should pester them (leaders) until they do something about it and I can assure you that they will eventually bow to the pressure,” Dr Thabane said.

Dr Thabane said that since the ABC is leading the coalition government, it is mandated to ensure smooth service delivery in all sectors.

He said in line with his drive for service delivery, he will soon be launching a road from Ha Marakabei to Monontša in the Butha-Buthe district while work has already started on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II and progress has also been made at the Ha Belo industrial area where about 14 250 jobs are expected to be created.

He said at least 3 000 people would have been employed by the Ha Belo industrial area project by the end of the year.

Dr Thabane also threw his weight behind the Agricultural Marketing (Wool and Mohair Licensing) Regulations of 2018 which have roundly been criticised and resisted by the farmers.

“We have made it clear that our commodity (wool and mohair) should not be sold in South Africa. This is our commodity and we shall be part of whatever plans there are pertaining it.

“Such plans shall not be done on our behalf by some self-acclaimed expert who goes around with some sheep-skin purse and we are going to compete internationally on our wool and mohair,” Dr Thabane said.

Since April this year, the regulations have forbidden anyone to trade in wool and mohair without a licence obtained from the ministry of Small Business, Cooperatives and Marketing.

The regulations further state that “the holder of an export licence shall not export wool and mohair unless it is prepared, brokered, traded and auctioned in Lesotho”. For over 40 years, South African company, BKB, has handled the auction of local fabric in the neighbouring country.

Any person found guilty of brokering, testing, processing, trading and auctioning wool and mohair without a licence is liable to a fine of M50 000 or a maximum of five years imprisonment.

Anyone found to be in the business of shearing wool and mohair or exporting without a licence will be fined M20 000 or be imprisoned for two years.

The government’s stand-off with farmers recently scaled to unprecedented levels when thousands of farmers organised by the Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers Association (LNWMGA) from across the country staged a protest march in Maseru to force the government to reverse the regulations.

A prominent Mokhotlong wool and mohair farmer, Khotsang Moshoeshoe, who recently hit the headlines when he was filmed having an altercation with Trade and Industry Tefo Mapesela, was also arrested last week.

Mr Moshoeshoe stands accused of contravening Sections 23, 74 and 84 of the Penal Code Act of 2010 which criminalise behaviour that breaches the public peace.

Dr Thabane also declared war on live-stock thieves and said he would ensure that they are punished severely.

“I urge them (thieves) to stop stealing forth-with. I am going to make it a point that anyone who steals from others faces the repercussions.

“Any Mosotho man who steals from another shall be pinched with tongs in his most sensitive areas and that shall not be done by me but by those who know how to do that. I declare curfew against any form of theft,” Dr Thabane said.

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