MOTSEKUOA – Basotho National Party (BNP) Youth League leader, David Letela, has pledged to support the aspirations of party leader Machesetsa Mofomobe who is seeking to contest elections into the National Assembly this year – with eyes set on the prime ministerial seat at Qobosheaneng. Mofomobe held rally at Motsekuoa, Mafeteng, on Sunday where he outlined the BNP’s manifesto to supporters for the forthcoming elections. It is at this rally that Letela made a passionate plea to the youth to register with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and vote for the BNP.
Letela called on the country’s youth to have faith in Mofomobe, “because he is a true and strong leader as he joined politics at the age of 14.” He further appealed to the youth to vote for the BNP as he believes it is the only party that will bring about change as the last hope for a better future for Basotho. Mofomobe was worthy of leadership, he said, because he follows the principles and rules set by the BNP founding leader Morena Leabua Jonathan and this makes him a great leader as well.
In his remarks at the rally BNP deputy leader, Bothata Lephema, highlighted agriculture as the party’s key manifesto item which he said mandates them to revive the agricultural cooperatives of the Leabua Jonathan era. Lephema continued that back then agricultural production was enormous to the extend that people never experienced hunger and poverty as they had the necessary agricultural machinery. In his keynote address Mofomobe reminded those present that the general elections were drawing close, and appealed to the BNP faithful to get ready to cast their votes.
He detailed that, following the 1966 independence the BNP was elected into power and ruled the country, doing a great job to the extend that it was known worldwide for its beauty because it was well taken care of. He further pointed out that since the government changed hands the country has been thrown into an abyss of suffering. The BNP leader said he was not ashamed publicly to declare that his was the only party capable of ending the nation’s suffering.
He said the country will not change for the better until it produces everyday needs because for the country to survive, it needs to export more and import less. Mofomobe said over the years Lesotho has been losing money buying products they can produce themselves from South Africa. The country buys such products as fruits and vegetables yet people have fields where they can produce all these, he said. In addition, he said the money spend on such imports could have been given to farmers to produce these products and they can do wonders in agriculture.
“Basotho spent a lot of money buying bananas from Mozambique and other countries whereas we can produce those bananas here in our country. There are certain people I have met with in regards to producing bananas here in Lesotho. These people want to open what we call a banana ripening facility, we will build storage houses where we will keep these bananas so they ripe and we buy them at low prices,” he said. Mofomobe also addressed unemployment issues especially on the youth and stressed it is important to create jobs and employ the youth.
He said even though people still produce fruits and vegetables, it is still not enough because they do not have capital to produce more so that they buy from them. He said part of the youth are agriculture graduates who will assist in the production of fruits and vegetables so that the economy can cut costs by not buying from South Africa. As the current minister of small businesses, he has already given the youth capital to start businesses because he is fixing this nation through the youth, he said.
“Businesses should be run by nationals not foreigners if we want our economy to grow. We also want to ensure that when investors come to our countries they should establish factories not supermarkets. When you look at profits made by these supermarkets, they are a lot but they do not reinvest those profits in this country,” he said. He promised to work hand in hand with Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO) to fund people who are willing to start businesses so that the nation works hard to improve the economy.
Moving on to agriculture, he said Lesotho used to assemble tractors and BNP is going to work on bringing it back again. Mofomobe also stated that they will assist with agricultural needs such bringing manure closer to farmers. “I am a farmer and I have seen how difficult it is as farmers when we are supposed to plough because we lack manure,” he said. Furthermore, he stated that these needs should be brought and the army, together with the police, should guard them so that people will access them any time they may need them.