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Thabane pledges to fight corruption

Bongiwe Zihlangu MASERU — Prime Minister Thomas Thabane (73) says he will fight corruption and deliver “clean governance for Basotho”.

“We will fiercely fight corruption, more especially because it really is a challenge to prove to the people that they made no mistake by electing us into power,” Thabane said.

“Today the real winner is not me but the people of Lesotho. The will of the people takes precedence over our personal issues.”

Thabane said Lesotho had seen its fair share of post-election conflicts and “we should refrain from the mistakes of the past”.

“We need to protect Lesotho’s peace and stability,” said the All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader.

Thabane said his government would strive to be transparent and to develop the business sector.

He added that the agriculture sector would be revived so that Basotho would have food and be able “to plough their fields and produce food, rain or not”.

As he delivered his speech Thabane seemed humbled, a far cry from the militant persona he displayed at his party’s political rallies.

“We will devise mechanisms to tackle climate change so that we are able to improve food and livestock production,” he said.

The new prime minister vowed to improve the health service and strengthen the fight against HIV and Aids.

Thabane said Lesotho also had to strive towards achieving greater development in terms of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the National Strategic Plan.

“We will enhance Lesotho’s economic prospects by engaging all sectors in order to create jobs and lure investors to Lesotho.”

Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC) won 48 seats in the May 26 election but could not court enough coalition partners to make the 61 seats required to form a government.

Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) which won 30 seats entered a coalition with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the Basotho National Party (BNP).

The LCD won 26 seats while the BNP got five. The coalition has 61 seats and can count on the support of smaller parties.

Thabane said his government would “not be that of the coalition only but it will acknowledge every Mosotho”.

“As Basotho, we’re a nation among nations, known for peace and advocacy for political freedom,” Thabane said.

“We speak one language and share similar traditions. Our political orientation and difference in opinion should never divide us.”

Thabane also thanked security forces for protecting Basotho before, during and after elections as well as the media for keeping the public informed.

He thanked NGOs for their voter education campaigns.

The Christian Council of Lesotho should be commended “for instilling a sense of patience in us as political leaders”, he said.

He said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had done a good job in organising the election.

“I also wish to say today that I forgive the IEC for past errors as well as mistakes that might have been committed during elections. After all, we’re all bound to make mistakes where work is being done,” Thabane said.

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