MOVEMENT for Economic Change leader, Selibe Mochoboroane has promised better working conditions for factory workers and access to health care should his party win Saturday’s snap parliamentary elections.
Political parties have turned the country’s factories teeming with thousands of workers into a veritable battleground as they seek votes in the elections.
This past week, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and his Labour Minister, Thulo Mahlakeng who is also leader of the Basotho Congress Party (BCP), traded barbs over the new minimum wage for workers.
Dr Mosisili started the war of words after he used his Tuesday address to factory workers in Ha Thetsane, Maseru to accuse Advocate Mahlakeng of delaying the minimum wage adjustment.
He said the minister caused the delay by seeking to come up with his own figures instead of implementing the figures that had already been agreed. The minimum wage has since been increased by nine percent.
However, Advocate Mahlakeng did not take kindly to Dr Mosisili’s accusations and he responded by addressing the same factory workers at the same venue the acheterdufrance.com following day to clear his name.
A visibly irate Advocate Mahlakeng said he had come to “straighten out the contorted information given by the Prime Minister,” adding he had simply abided by the rule book.
That same day, Mr Mochoboroane addressed about 600 supporters at the nearby Thetsane Office Park during their lunch, reminding of their importance to the country’s development.
“You are the only people who can change the economy of this country for you are the beacon and we therefore found necessary to engage you in consultative meetings,” Mr Mochoboroane said.
“We are going to be more on the implementing side than talking unlike all the other political leaders.
“It is time for action and this time around we are going to grab the bone from the dog and eat it while it watches because we don’t fear it.
“I stand by my words that it’s time that ntate Mosisili and his counterparts went home because they are old,” Mr Mochoboroane said.
He promised mobile clinics to enable workers to access health services near their work stations.
He also emphasised the need for parents to bond with their children, saying a MEC government would build “crèche facilities around the factories so that your kids are well taken care of in a conducive environment”.
Mr Mochoboroane also accused Dr Mosisili of plagiarising his ideas on improving conditions for the workers, adding, “It’s a simple way of saying he acknowledges that he has failed in implementing certain things and therefore trusts that I can implement them”.
He however, said he would not make any promises about subsidising the transport costs for factory workers.
“I do not want to raise people’s hopes over issues which I know I won’t be able to fulfil. I want to say things which are practicable and relevant.”
He also condemned the recent reports of abductions and brutal killings of women and children. He said such incidents pointed to the incompetence of the national intelligence and security services.
“We condemn these brutal actions and as MEC we have an obligation to protect the marginalised groups.
“Woman are vulnerable and we will ensure that our national security and intelligence is up to the task to prevent such incidents from happening.”