Mixed reactions to Matekane’s entry into politics



MASERU – In an effort to rescue Lesotho from its fiscal dilemmas and possibly rescue the country from turning into a failed state, prominent businessman, Sam Ntsokoane Matekane, says he has established a political movement Revolution for Prosperity (RFP). Matekane launched this political movement on Tuesday and claims that RFP is Basotho’s only hope that will transform the country’s financial state, restore Basotho’s hope in democracy, root out corruption, end nepotism, reduce the crime rate and ensure equality of opportunities and inclusiveness for all.

The movement is currently undergoing the registration process with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and will with immediate effect go on nationwide crusade to gather the electorate’s opinions to enable them craft their manifesto. Announced as the team behind formation of the new movement are Matekane who is the leader of the movement, Lebona Lephema of Executive Transport, Toloane Matekane, Telang Tekane, Mokhethi Shelile, Nthati Moorosi, Thabo Mofosi, Thabo Moretlane, Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane, former Governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho, Metsing Lemphane, Tlohang Sekhamane, former Democratic Congress Minister and Nthomeng Majara who is the former Chief Justice.

Delivering his speech at the launch, Matekane noted that he decided to start this political movement after discovering that his efforts aimed towards helping Basotho and improving their livelihoods are not yielding sustainable results. He said he continues to Basotho struggling as the country’s economy keeps deteriorating.

He said he also could no longer watch as Lesotho becomes the laughing stock of other nations while he could bring solutions for the country. Speaking about things that could turn around the escalating poverty in the country, Matekane said Basotho need to be capacitated so that they graduate from being handouts receivers to being players in growing the country’s economy. “I have been a successful businessman in this country and abroad. I never thought of engaging in politics as I have been focusing on helping people.

“But after discovering that despite my efforts not much has changed and Basotho continue to live in poverty, I decided to take a stand and bring solutions that Basotho desperately need; this gave birth to a movement that will revive the country’s economy,” Matekane said during the launch. If immediate action is not taken, he said Lesotho would turn into a failed state, pointing out that as of today, the government has contributed to the collapse of many businesses whose services it failed to pay due to financial constraints.

He said because of the country’s financial state, the government’s services are bad and essential services like health, education and water are not effectively delivered. He noted that the country’s roads are full of potholes, bridges have been destroyed by heavy rains and youth unemployment is escalating. Matekane further said agricultural production in the country has badly deteriorated and as a result the country spends lots of money on imports.

He also touched on escalating Gender Based Violence, increasing rape cases, stock-theft and killings in the country pointing out that these can be alleviated by growing the country’s economy and sharing it evenly. “All these are caused by poverty. If Basotho are capacitated and included in strategies and projects meant to grow the country’s economy, all these will be a thing of the past,’’ he said.

He said nepotism is among the biggest challenges the country is facing and a big driver of human trafficking. “People are awarded jobs and tenders based on their political affiliations not on merit. This has seen most qualified people not getting jobs thus increasing unemployment. Because of the unemployment, people have opted for human trafficking,” he noted.

He added that through his movement, Basotho will be capacitated and financially assisted to produce products that they can export to international markets including Europe and America to mention but a few. Matekane noted that since Lesotho has been afforded these market opportunities only one Mosotho has been exporting his products so most of SACU and AGOA benefits are being enjoyed by foreigners.

He said in 1966 after Lesotho gained its independence, the country was wealthier than Botswana and eSwatini but now those countries are three times and six times richer than Lesotho respectively, blaming this on bad governance. Matekane noted that if RFP becomes government, all this will be a thing of the past adding that he will use meritocracy to award tenders and jobs.

He promised to put in place policies that will ensure transparency in awarding of jobs and tenders. He called upon all political parties to work with him for the betterment of the country, emphasizing that Basotho have been fighting about things that divide them instead of those that bring them together for the development of Lesotho.

The new movement, which is yet to register with the electoral authority, comes five months before the country goes for national elections. As of today, Lesotho has about 54 political parties registered with IEC.

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