Embassy News & Events

22 – 27 NOVEMBER 2007

Quthing Nov. 22, (LENA) -- Assistant Minister of Labour and Employment has urged Chiefs and members of Mphaki Community Council to support community developmental activities.

Speaking at a meeting at T’sitsong in Mphaki to prepare for implementation of irrigation scheme, which is to benefit 60 crop farmers, Mrs. ‘Matanki Mokhabi, said the project would among other challenges fight hunger, unemployment and poverty.

She said, the success of the project lies on the responsibility of farmers, ading that "unity is power and all groups of the community within the irrigation scheme project should work together to share ideas and experiences for development and sustainability of the project".

In an interview at the same occasion, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Irrigation Consultant, Mr. John Nyachieo, said farmers within the project area should engage in commercial farming so that they could pay back the money, which was used to implement the project.

He said, "irrigation scheme is not about collection of water for irrigation, but it needs dedication of the public in utilisation of collected water to meet its objective of crop production".

He appealed to attendants at the meeting to identfy their needs and the kind of support they would need to achieve the goal of the project.

One of the farmers, Mr. Ts'olo Mokake, said irrigation scheme has been their firsts priority among the projects proposed by Ts'itsong Community to Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Programme (SANReMP). He said other projects included Livestock and poultry rearing.

Mr Mokake, said, the irrigation scheme would cover many people with fields who would provide other members of the public without fields with jobs of working as labours in the fields.

He said farmers to engage in the project have planned to produce vegetables since they could be produced through out the year and are marketable as vegetables sold in the district are imported from South Africa.

The meeting was organised by SANReMP Mission formed with Officials from UNOPS Nairobi, SANReMP headquarters in Maseru and Department of Agriculture. The objective of the meeting was to prepare for the implementation of irrigation scheme project in T’sitsong. The project would be funded by SANReMP.

SANReMP covers the districts of Quthing, Mohale’shoek and Mafeteng. The programme is funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in collaboration with Lesotho government.

Mafeteng, November 21 (LENA) -- The District Council Chairperson in Mafeteng, Mr. Zulu Khotle, has urged community councillors and the public to work as a team in implementation of developmental activities in the district.

Mr Khotle was speaking at a public gathering at Makaota Community Council on Wednesday at the completion of a seven kilometres tarred road construction, which the community do not approve.

Majority of the community had shown interest in the implementation of tarred road construction, but had asked the government to compensate them, which did not happen.

However, it was agreed that Matekane Construction, which is responsible for the project to carry on with the construction tarred road in areas, where the community has shown interest to be developed.

Mr Khotle, warned the community that their land will be affected as a result of the construction of the tarred, and appealed for their cooperation and put aside their political difference.

The District Council Chairperson, further warned the whole community to use the M28 million allocated for the implementation of development projects, 'failing which the money will be allocated to other districts for the same developmental activity and will never be given to this district again'.

Berea, Nov.22 (LENA) --- Prison Fellowship will issue Christmas gifts to prisoners' children at Teyateyaneng Prison on December 8.

According to information from the Prison Fellowship, says the gifts that would be issued to 86 children, would include new clothing and food.

The organisation's official, Reverend Joseph Mpakanyane, said the gifts are issued to children on behalf of their parents in prison, who have neither money, nor the ability to give their children christmas gifts.

He said, 'christmas is a lonely time, when prisoners' children have been separated from their fathers and mothers'.

Reverend Mpakanyane added that an Angel Tree Programme serves to reach those children with the love of Christ during this painful period in their lives.

He said, by enlisting the aid of local churches, businesses, and people of good will, the Prison Fellowship Lesotho, provides the children with special christmas gifts.

The issuing of such gifts by Prison Fellowship that is constituted with various churches, is an annual event.

The obligation of the organisation that was formed in the 1990's is to ensure prisoners' welfare and that of their children.

Mohale’s hoek, Nov.22 (LENA) -- At least 17, 014 people in 43 distribution points in Mohale’s hoek have received food aid under the drought relief revised (DRR) program during second round of food distribution that began on November 05.

The first round of food distribution began last month in response to a declared state of food emergency due to drought that hit the country. And each beneficiary receives a monthly package of 12kg maize meal, 1.8kg pulses and 0.6kg cooking oil.

In an interview, the District Disaster Management Officer, Mr. Thabo Letsie said, the distribution scheduled to end on Tuesday next week is expected to benefit 25 809 people in 62 distribution points.

He said, the beneficiaries are vulnerable households identified during targeting exercise undertaken jointly by the District Disaster Management Team (DDMT) and community leaders.

Mr. Letsie, noted that some beneficiaries travel long distances to the distribution points and said the team would have to review the concerned distribution points.

Besides DRR programme, food aid is also distributed to HIV/AIDS patients, orphaned and vulnerable children all under the protracted relief and recovery operation programme.

Botha-Bothe, Nov 22 (LENA) -- The Minister of Forestry and Land Reclamation, Mr. Ralechate Mokose, says the community, who fails to protect developments projects, by letting animals to graze on them,  their money will be transferred to a different place.

This he said, at the end of his tour of donga reclamation project at Ha Rasekila in the Botha-Bothe district on Wednesday, where he impressed by the progress of the project.

The Minister, said the head gullies that are constructed in the dongas at Ha Rasekila have served the purposes of conserving soil during the past rains and this will help to collect the soil to combat soil erosion.

Mr. Mokose, said he is making follow up visits throughout the country with the objective of assessing progress of soil reclamation projects. 

He encouraged the Ha Chaba community to safe M100 from their allowances for the purpose of engaging in income generating projects such as poultry, lay chickens and piggery so that they could be able to have long term sources of income.

Meanwhile, the Linareng community have called to be assisted with the construction of a dam to grow fish with a view to generate employment and for poverty alleviation.

Maseru, Nov.22 (LENA)-  Lesotho will join the rest of the world in commemorating International Philosophy Day at 'Manthabiseng Convention Centre on Thursday next week.

The President of Mohlomi Philosophical Society, Mr. Makhaola Mapetja, said this year's theme celebration is 'Philosophy, School of Wisdom, Learn Philosophy and Learn to Philosophise.

He said, the theme stipulates that philosophy is the source of knowledge that can be used in different sectors in life, and if it is applied practically, the society can attain knowledge and information through it.

He said philosophy contributes in maintaining the stable state of mind as philosophers do not address issues in an aggressive way that will hurt others, as they think critically before they speak.

Mr. Mapetja, explained that 'although many people do not have a clear understanding of what is philosophy, it is an important subject as it applies in Science, Business and Education'.

The first celebration in Lesotho was held in 2005  and the day is celebrated in every year Thursday of November.

Mohlomi Philosophical Society was established in 2004, and it has 50 registered members.

Maseru, Nov 22.(LENA) -- The Principal Chief of Ha Maama, Chieftainess Mabela Maama will launch the new Ned Bank branch at Roma next Tuesday.

Ned Bank Marketing Officer told LENA that the new branch is aimed at providing banking services to people living around Roma area.

Mr. Hlalele Hlalele said, the new branch will provide services that include savings, Internet banking, Automatic Teller Machines (ATM's) as well as investments respectively.

He appealed to Roma communities to work harmoniously with Ned Bank staff to ensure smooth running of the business.

Ned Bank Lesotho Limited has four branches, six Automatic Teller Machines and two agencies in the country.

Meanwhile, Ned Bank group Limited is a South African bank holding company, which operates as one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa through its principal banking subsidiaries.

Maseru, Nov 22. (LENA) -- Standard Lesotho Bank will hold employee's wellness week in Maseru from December 03.

The Standard Lesotho Bank Human Resource Manager, said the week is part of her company's effort to join the rest of the world in commemorating World Aids Day.

Ms. Ntsoaki Maraisane added that the intention of the week is also to bring Standard Lesotho Bank employees together so that they are made aware of the danger of other diseases such as diabetes as well as low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

Ms. Maraisane, said throughout the wellness week, employees will be offered voluntary counseling and testing, adding that they will also be expected to test for diabetes as well as high blood while some will donate blood.

“We will work together with Lesotho Blood Transfusion Services and Healthy Lifestyle Diabetes Clinic in order to make our work a success,” she emphasised.

Meanwhile, Ms. Maraisane explained that similar wellness weeks will be held throughout the branches of Standard Bank Lesotho in the country.

Standard Lesotho Bank was born of the merger of Standard Bank Lesotho and Lesotho Bank (1999) Ltd on July, 18 2006. It is the majority shareholder with the Government of Lesotho and Lesotho Unit Trust owning remaining shares. The Bank operates in all 10 districts of Lesotho.

Maseru, Nov 22 (LENA) -- Member of Parliament for All Basotho Convention (ABC), Mr. Sello Maphalla has proposed a motion in the National Assembly seeking the state owned  media to be privatised.

Speaking for the motion, Mr. Maphalla said, Radio Lesotho, Lesotho Television, Lesotho News Agency (LENA), Lesotho Today and Lentsoe La Basotho newspapers has in the past been used as a mouth piece of the government as well as promoting propaganda of the ruling party.

'Radio Lesotho has also been used to topple government in the past as was witnessed in 1994 by a Mr. Bolofo when he announced on the state owned Radio that he has toppled the then governemnt,' he remarked.

Mr. Maphalla said, if privatised like many other democratically ruled nations, local media will have free editorial without any influence from outside.

He pointed out that privatisation of media will promote culture diversity and freedom of speech as contained in the constitution of Lesotho section 14.

The motion is expected to draw interest from local media, since hot debate is likely to intensify between the ruling party and the opposition members.

Maseru, Nov 23 (LENA) -- The motion proposed by All Basotho Convention  (ABC) seeking privitisation of state owned broadcasting units from direct supervision and control by government was dismissed by the House.

The motion was dismissed by majority members, who responded negatively to the motion after being debated over by the proposer, Mr. Sello Maphalla of ABC (Kobo Tata) for two days.

Mr. Maphalla had stated that if approved the motion would facilitate independence of the state owned media and enhance the principle of transparency in Lesotho as a democratic state.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mr. Mothetjoa Metsing argued that though he agreed with some of the phrases in the motion, he believed that it was not correctly written.

He also suggested that the motion be withdrawn and announced that the government will soon  table a bill, whose aim is to privatise both radio Lesotho and television.

Uganda,Nov.22 (LENA)- Secretary General of the Commonwealth says most of the deliberations at the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) will be directed towards the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

Speaking at a conference Mr. Don McKinnon said in many commonwealth countries, Millenium Development Goals have not been implemented hence a need to deliberate on the implementation process.

He said at this meeting 53 commonwealth nations will renew their commitments backed up with money and practical programmes to meet the MDGs.

Mr. McKinnon further said at the meeting, the Heads of state and government will also state the priority area that young people must hold in every branch of national life, and above all in the practice of democracy, and of building communities by understanding and resolving fracture.

Meanwhile all the forums preceeding the major CHOGM meeting will come to an end on Thursday. The forums that include youth, business and people's forums as well as the Pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers meeting were aimed at paving way meeting of the Heads of state and governments.

The CHOGM is a biennial summit, which works to promote peace and international co-operation, democracy and good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and the alleviation of poverty through sustainable economic and social development.

The CHOGM summit will be held at the International Conference Centre in Kampala, Uganda from Friday,

Uganda, Nov. 23 (LENA)--Youth from commonwealth nations who attended the Sixth Commonwealth Youth Forum urged the Heads of States and Government to involve young people in national decision making and governance.

This was among the resolutions contained in a communique that the youth submitted to the commonwealth Secretary General, Mr. Don McKinnon and the Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya.

Young people from the Youth Forum in which Lesotho was represented asked the heads of government to allow the youth to demonstrate their energy and enthusiasm to the commonwealth nations.

The chance they said will demonstrate their willingness to engage constructively in the process of improving the communities in their various countries and the world.

They further warned that the commonwealth would only be relevant to the future, if financial support was extended to the youth through the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment, the commonwealth Youth Programme and the commonwealth Youth Exchange Council.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has been suspended from commonwealth following a decision of the commonwealth Ministers Action Group (CMAG) reached late on Thursday during at the CHOGM summit.

The Lesotho Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohlabi Tsekoa, said the decision follows CMAG's statement of November 12 to suspend Pakistan for failing to fulfill its obligations in accordance with commonwealth principles.

Maseru Nov.23 (LENA) -- Eighty percent of children under five years, who have been targeted for measles immunisation has been successfuly achieved, according to the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng.

Dr. Ramatlapeng, said this in an interview with the media at the stakeholders in health meeting in Maseru on Friday.

She reported that 92.2 percent of children were immunised during the campaign, which was conducted last month throughout the country. "It went on successfully", she remarked.

Dr. Ramatlapeng commended all media houses for giving the campaign enough publicity and encouraged them to continue.

She also commended parents for bringing their children to immunisation centres in large numbers for the promotion of good health to their children.

Measles immunisation campaigns are held annually to eradicate the disease in children under five years old.

MASERU, NOV 23 (LENA) -- The Lesotho Mounted Police Service has announced that it will assist the Maseru City Council in clearing street vendors off Kingsway Road and other major streets in city centre, from Monday next week.

In a statement issued on Friday, the police say they will be conducting the operation in association with MCC and an undisclosed street vendors association.

The statement says the operation is intended to protect street vendors from what it calls illegal traders doing business along the major streets of Maseru.

According to the statement, these illegal traders are either vendors selling from unauthorised places, or those posing as vendors when they are actually a front for bigger shops.

The MCC issued a statement two weeks ago, instructing all vendors doing business on sidewalks along Kingsway and other major roads within city centre, to relocate to the enclosed marketplaces at Mafafa and Makhetheng. This appears to have fallen on deaf ears, as the vendors continue to trade as if oblivious to the MCC directive.

The MCC's proposal never went down well with the vendors who expressed dissatisfaction at moving to new places which they described as too small, overcrowded and not good for business.

They said going out of business would have serious socio-economic consequences which would seem them unemployed and unable to provide for their families.

They also expressed concerns that any attempts by MCC to push them off or confiscate their merchandise could trigger a confrontation as nasty as last year's which left at least two fatalities.

Previous confrontations between MCC and street vendors have always resulted in violence, and if this is anything to go by, then heads can be expected to roll, come Monday.

Leribe, Nov 23 (LENA) — Community Council of Menkhoaneng in the Pelats’oeu constituency has organised a meeting with different stakeholders to address concerns that threatens tourism at Ts'ehlanyane national park.

The District Councillor responsible for Social Services and also chairperson of the Menkhoaneng Community council, Mr. Ramats'ella Mpabatsane, said the objective of the meeting is to discuss the community’s concern about ill behavior of students, who visit the Ts’ehlanyane National Park.

He said, the Pelats’oeu community’s concern has been accelerated by the recent murder of one of the local youth, who was killed by the school children, who got out of the taxi and stoned him to death last month.

Mr. Mpabatsane said, "Most of the time the students, who travel to Ts'ehlanyane are under influence of alcohol and insult people along the road at the same time, exposing their buttocks through the vehicles’ windows thus sparking off the hostility".

He said, the purpose is to have responsible people to intervene, especially through creating awareness of the importance of tourism and the need to respect residents, who are also expected to demonstrate hospitality.

The Leribe police on the other hand are investigating murder of the said youth. Sergeant Seenyane Takalimane, said the case was difficult because many schools visit the Ts'ehlanyane National Park, therefore, it is hard to locate the taxi involved on the day of the incident.

He said, however, said the police have found the suspected taxi, noting that they are continuing with investigations.

Expected at the meeting will be park wardens of the Ts'ehlanyane National Park, department of Tourism, taxi operators, department of education and the police. The meeting will be held at the District Administrator’s office on Monday.

MASERU, NOV 23 (LENA) -- The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) Youth League has come down heavily on what it calls negative, divisive and misleading conduct by some sections of the media.

The league's president, Miss Rethabile Marumo dismissed as false reports that the party is embroiled in large scale internal bickering.

Providing evidence to the contrary, Miss Marumo said, all facets of the party such as the executive, the youth league and women's league worked tirelessly and together to make last weekend's 10th anniversary celebrations an overwhelming success.

She also quashed as misleading and malicious suggestions that deputy prime minister Lesao Lehohla and four other government ministers have been shown the exit door by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

The other four, Mr Monyane Moeleki, Mrs 'Mathabiso Lepono, Dr 'Mamphono Khaketla and Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng.

The youth leader, stressed the league's unwavering support for these ministers and described these allegations as insulting to the prime minister.

She went on to throw her weight behind the the grant that Lesotho has received under the Millennium Challenge Corporation of the United States of America, and also condemned some opposition parties that are opposed to it, describing them as selfish and insensitive to the plight of of the nation.

Maseru, Nov. 26(LENA) -- The Director of Youth in the Ministry of Gender and Youth Sports and Recreation, says Women with disability should be treated with respect as they are created in the same way as other women within the society.

Mr. Ts'oanelo Mathafeng was speaking at the launch of a Health Handbook for Women with disabilities at the offices of Lesotho National Federation of the Disabled(LNFOD) on Monday.

He said, God created a women with a purpose to make developments within the community and every women should be respected and be treated with honor regardless of her disability.

'Since, the Handbook is launched during the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence”, he urged the rapists and the abusers to refrain from their actions and seek for peace for the development of the country. 'he said.

Adding that the book will also be used as a guiding tool to Health Workers, Caregivers and family members as it will equip them with skills on how to handle Women with disabilities.

The President of LNFOD, Mr. Lehlohonolo Mafofo urged the women with disabilities to develop a reading culture as they will attain new information that will guide them in their day to day life.

And promised them that the book will be translated in Sesotho so that it can be read by a large number of women with disability in all parts of the country.

And the Secretary for LNFOD Women's Wing, Ms. Likopo Lesoetsa, said the book is written for millions of women with disabilities around the world who suffer and die because they lack access to respectful and appropriate health care.

Adding that it also pertains information about the social causes of disability, and it suggests ways to help change feelings and beliefs that are harmful to the health of women with disabilities their families and communities.

In comprising the handbook, women with disabilities around the world shared their health needs,beliefs and practices and their experiences and stories in shaping the book.

LNFOD is a mother body of disabled organisations, it is mandated to advocate for the rights of people with different disabilities in the country.

Maseru, Nov.26 (LENA) -- The Minister of Trade and Industry Cooperatives and Marketing, Mr. Popane Lebesa has officially launched the Crabtree Electrical Accessories (PTY) LTD at Maseru on Monday.

Speaking at the occasion, the minister, said the establishment of Crabtree is a necessary step and strategic direction of diversifying industrial base in Lesotho. He said the move will provide an avenue for skills and technology transfer to the society.

Mr Lebesa, said through the company, graduates from the Lesotho's Technology Institutions such as the Lerotholi Polytechnic will find an appropriate place for apprenticeship and open job opportunities.

The Minister however, said sustaining the manufacturing industry is the greatest challenge facing the government of Lesotho as globalisation movement of businesses across national boundaries seeking to maximise returns has become an issue of competition.

"Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has become a scarce commodity for which every country seeking to secure has to pay a premium for which Lesotho is not an exception", he noted.

Mr Lebesa, added that for Lesotho to sustain its industry, it has to ensure that security of investment, provision of reasonably priced efficient utilities in communications, licenses and reliable transport system are considered important.

The Chief Executive of Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) Mr. Peete Molapo, said his company strives to be an agent of change and look out for opportunities to fulfill the government's policy of poverty eradication.

He therefore, urged all Basotho, who have secured employment in this new factory, to maintain a peaceful working relationship with their employers. He added that the investors should integrate more with the communities within which they operate.

The Chief Executive Officer of Power tech, Mr. Norbert Claussen, said Crabtree motto has been to strive to be a company that meets the high demands of its customers through the provision of a technically advanced product, unrivaled service and superior support and backup infrastructure.

Cabtree (PTY) LTD started its operations in Lesotho in July 2007. It is championed by Cabtree South Africa and the initial investment in the company is estimated at M5 million with 85 Basotho currently employed.

The company manufactures electrical accessories such as plugs, and extension cords for export for SADC market.

Mohale'shoek, Nov.26 (LENA)--Violence against women and children would be the key issue to be addressed at a function to be held at Ha Keeke in Taung area on Tuesday.

The activity that includes graduation ceremony of Integrated Early Childhood Care and Development(IECCD) in Taung is part of activities to observe 16 days of activism against violence of women and children that began on Sunday, November 25 and will end on December 10.

In an interview, the District IECCD Officer, Mrs. 'Marethabile Titisi said members of Women and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA) in collaboration with the IECCD unit in the district will empower women and raise awareness on the fight against such acts of violence.

She said 171 children from 138 IECCD centres of Taung would be awarded educational certificates for completing pre- education at the same event.

And expected at the occasion include District Administrator, Principal Chief, Gender Office, Child and Gender Protection Unit(CGPU) and the public.

Similar activities intended to discourage acts of violence of women and children are expected to continue even beyond 16 days.

The campaign was launched at Thaba-Tseka by the minster of Communications, Scienc and Technology, Mr. Mothejoa Metsing, on behalf of the Minister of Gender, Sports and Recreation, Mrs. Mathabiso Lepono.

It stems from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute Sponsored by the Center of Women's Leadership in 1991.

Maseru, Nov 26. (LENA)-- An Operator at the Treatment Plant of Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), says the physical quality of water has been compromised since last Friday, as evidenced by murkiness.

Ms. Angelina Motabo told LENA in an interview that this is a result of pumps that were not working effectively at the plant.

She however, said the problem has been ratified, adding that this would not have negative impact on the lives of individuals as chemicals that are used to prevent illness had been used.

On the other hand, Ms. Motabo appealed to members of the society to shun throwing hazardous materials in Maqalika Dam as they pollute the water.

WASA provides safe drinking water to over 45, 000 households, plus approximately 220 stand pipes serving over 200 000 people out of a population of 1.8 million.

It also serves the many industries and commercial premises, especially in Maseru. the largest being Lesotho brewery.

Berea, Nov.26 (LENA) -- Skillshare International donated 368 layer chickens to 'Basali 'Moho Support Group at Ha Bale in Berea on Monday.

A total number of chickens donated to the group to date, is more than 600, including the 240 chickens that were donated at the beginning of the month.

In an interview, Skillshare International Country Programme Officer, Mrs 'M'apaballo 'Mile, said the chickens are a means by which her organisation ensures that lives of members of the support group are improved.

She said, garden tools such as spades and rakes were also donated to the support group in the past years. She added that, her organisation works with Basali 'Moho Support Group, as well as Phomolong Support Group, at Ha Ts'osane.

Skillshare's Project Coordinator, Mrs Maipelo Ruzvadzo, said the support groups initiate, run and manage their own projects without the interference of the officials of her organisation, so that they could feel that they are theirs, and run them efficiently.

She said, hers is to monitor and evaluate the projects, to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

The Basali 'Moho Support Group's Chairperson, Mrs 'M'amokete Maketsa, thanked the Skillshare International for its humanitarian gesture of donating the chickens.

She promised that they would do their best to ensure that their project sustains, so that it could benefit not only members but their relatives, and the community as a whole.

Skillshare International is an organisation that is devoted to the development of the disadvantaged members of the public.

Maseru, Nov 26 (LENA) -- The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) through the Department of Democracy will hold a one-day public gathering at Khanyane in Leribe on Tuesday.

TRC's Parliamentary Officer told LENA that the gathering is intended to deliberate on the roles of Members of Parliament in parliament and at constituency level.

Mrs. 'Manaledi Mofubelu, said parliamentarians play a vital role in developing and strengthening the constitution, adding that there is need for them to report back to the society at the constituency level.

On the other hand, Mrs. Mofubelu added that it is only when members of the society understand the critical role that Parliamentarians play in issues of the country that they can join forces in enhancing good governance.

She outlined that the gathering will also provide civil education on the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary and the introduction of Child Protection and Welfare Bill, which will soon be debated in parliament.

Similar gatherings have been held in Mokhotlong and the intention is to cover all the districts.

Founded in 1979, TRC is a non governmental organisation mandated to advocate for good governance and to promote protection of human rights.

Quthing Nov. 26, (LENA) - - Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia have established Orange – Senqu River Basin Commission (ORASCOM) for protection of Senqu River water sources.

Speaking at a meeting held for stakeholders in water issues at the District Administrator’s Office, the ORASCOM Consultant from Denmark said, ORASCOM is expected to ensure that Senqu River wetlands are managed for sustainable flow of the River along the four countries.

Ms. Matte Hendich Junkov, said ORASCOM has implemented Orange – Senqu River water sources project that among others entails to find out wetlands that supply Senqu River with water and ensure that they are well managed and protected.

Speaking at the same occasion the Quthing Acting District Administrator, Mr. Tsamaiso Tlolotlolo, said Quthing has many wetlands that supply Senqu River with water and they include Letsie Lake and sources of different rivers that are Qhoalinyane, Quthing, Sebapala, Qomo-Qomong and Tele.

He said, some of the wetlands have degraded and depreciated due to drought, burning of pastures and overgrazing.

The District Land Use Planners, Mr. Bafokeng Mafa, appealed to the ORASCOM consultants to provide information acquired during their study of wetlands in the district and their recommendations in connection with management and protection of water sources for the benefit of the district.

He said, the information would assist in the development of management and protection of wetlands district plan, since it is the responsibility of government department and community councilors to protect natural resources.

The meeting was attendant by public servants from different departments that included: Statistics, Rural Water Supply, Forestry and Land Reclamation and Local Government.

The objective of the meeting was to provide the consultants with information that included location of wetlands in the district, present conditions of the wetlands and district plan including management of the wetlands.

The PEMCONSULT, a consulting company from Denmark in collaboration with Tsoelopele Consulting and Constructors (TCC) of Lesotho, and DHI of Denmark are engaged by ORASCOM to undertake a study on protection of Senqu River water sources project in Lesotho.

The ORASCOM comprises delegates of three commissioners from Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Its office is based in Botswana.

Orange – Senqu River begins in Mokhotlong in Lesotho and pass through South Africa, Botswana and Namibia to Atlantic Ocean.

Quthing Nov. 27, (LENA) -- The Quthing District Anti-corruption and Economic Offences Committee (DAEOC) will hold a public gathering on anti-corruption at Mjanyane on Wednesday this week.

The Member of the DAEOC, Mr Lichaba Ralengau, said the objective of the public gathering is to sensitise the community about corruption and economic offences.

He said, the public gathering would among others cover the meaning and impact of corruption and economic offence, bribery, theft, nepotism, contribution of the community in promoting corruption and the role of the community in a fight against corruption and economic offences.

He pointed out that the fight against corruption needs teamwork, since it affects everybody. He added that corruption among others erodes public confidence in the institution, reputation of workers and their integrity.

Mr Ralengau, said corruption also promote poor public service, results in loss of revenue and makes it difficult for the government to carryout its mandate effectively. He further said it also affect pillars of democracy that are transparency, accountability and the law

Similarly, gatherings have been held for chiefs, community councilors, public servants and the public from others areas of the district.

The DAEOC is formed with representatives from different groups of the public, business community, Non Governmental Organisations and some heads of government departments.

Maseru Nov. 27 (LENA)--It is the responsibility of every Mosotho to abide by the laws regulating land allocation for proper use and management.

The Prime Minister (PM), Mr. Pakalitha Mosisili said this when officially opening a two-day National Land Forum in Maseru on Tuesday.

Mr. Mosisili, said, "Land is a treasure and source of life like water, hence the need for establishment of clear policies on land related issues".

He urged the public to use land as allocated for protection and management, adding that stakeholders in land management should review land issues regularly to address challenges facing the sector in the country.

The Prime Minister stated that the public should also be informed about new developments on land issues for proper land use and management.

He said, improper land use in the country has resulted in towns and villages not well planned, further saying building of houses on the arable land and overgrazing of livestock have also resulted in the escalating soil erosion.

'The situation has made it difficult for infrastructure such as water supply systems and electricity to be inaccessible,' he elaborated.

Mr. Mosisili, further said in 20 years to come, there will be no arable land for crop production as the land will have been affected by desertification if the situation continues with the same trend.

The purpose of the forum is to sensitise stakeholders in land management on existing situations on land allocation and their implications for overall development of Lesotho and to enhance the awareness of key stakeholders on their roles and functions in relation to land allocation and land management.

Similar forums will be held in the Southern and Northern districts of the country with the same objective.

Maseru Nov. 27 (LENA) -- The deputy prime minister, says the government is still committed to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS pandemic and therefore, urge for support from both private and civil society.

Mr Lesao Lehohla, also the minister of home affairs and public safety and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Lesao Lehohla, said this when briefing the Media on this year's World AIDS Day (WAD) in Maseru on Tuesday.

He said, the government is working tirelessly to instill an understanding of the need to know one's status to the public and encourage behavioral change by reaching Basotho with effective HIV/AIDS messages.

Mr. Lehohla, said the global theme for this year's commemoration is 'Leadership' and it is promoted by the campaigning slogan from 2001 to 2010 of 'Stop AIDS, keep the promise.'

He added that the theme focuses on leaders, since experience has shown that significant achievements in the response to the pandemic have been realised if there is strong commitment from leadership.

In Lesotho, the theme has been enhanced by adopting the national specific theme of 'Youth, leaders of tomorrow' which has been deliberately chosen to promote youth participation and ultimate commitment in the fight against the pandemic.

Mr. Lehohla, stated that leaders should be recognised by their actions and vision, personal involvement and engagement of others and their eagerness to win despite the obstacles and challenges.

He further, said leaders should not be perceived as those in the high offices of the government only but instead leadership must be demonstrated at every level in order to win the battle against the pandemic.

The World Aids Day will be commemorated at Mahobong in the Leribe district on Saturday.

The day is an annual event marked on December 01 with the purpose to honour those who have died of AIDS related diseases and those infected and affected by the pandemic.

Mokhotlong, Nov 27. (LENA) -- Seventeen people took voluntary counselling and testing during the 16 days of activism against gender based violence support tent from Monday to Tuesday in Mokhotlong.

Out of the 17, seven tested HIV positive. The HIV/AIDS Counselor in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. 'Maabiele Khoabane, said she was impressed by the positive response to observe the campaign.

The Child and Gender Protection Unit (CGPU) officer, Mr. Mabitle Motuba, said about 14 cases of sexual offenses have been reported from from October to November this year in which most of them involve women and children.

Mr Mabitle, however, expressed concern over reluctance to report assault cases. He expressed hope that the information that people would receive during the 16 days of activism will encourage change of bahviour.

MASERU, NOV 27 (LENA) -- The Indonesian Embassy in South Africa, says there is a need to further entrench existing relations between Indonesia and Lesotho.

This has been mentioned by the Head of Information, Social and Cultural Affairs in Pretoria-based the Indonesian Embassy, Mr Fred Panggabean, who is currently on a three-day to Lesotho, along with the embassy's Head of Economic Affairs, Mr Asa Silalahi.

Mr Panggabean, says the purpose of their visit is to explore areas of possible cooperation in business, arts and cultural training, with various local community-based organisations.

He said, they would also identify the potentials in Lesotho that Indonesia can promote, such as products that can be marketed and possibly exported to Indonesia, while at the same time establishing market opportunities for Indonesian products in Lesotho.

He said, Indonesia has had long and good relations with Lesotho that had been restricted to a diplomatic level, hence this country is looking to expand and strengthen these relation.

Mr Panggabean, said Indonesia will be offering Basotho opportunities to study in Indonesian institutions.

He said, it is his country's vision that the establishment of trade links between the two countries could eventually see citizens of these countries setting up businesses in either country.

The Indonesian delegation heads back to South Africa on Wednesday.

Maseru, Nov 27 (LENA) -- The management of MKM burial Society and Millennium Goal Society have been ordered to stop collecting money from the public and payment to them forth with.

This was announced by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr Timothy Thahane in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Addressing parliamentarians, Dr Thahane, said the Central Bank of Lesotho has sought and obtained the high court order allowing judicial investigation against MKM Burial Society and Millennium Goal Society.

"Central Bank should be allowed to appoint Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to carry out audit duties within MKM; take MKM monies to the banks; and such money should not be withdrawn without knowledge of Central Bank", he stated.

Dr. Thahane, said PWC will be responsible to ensure that the funeral scheme, as far as burial activities are concerned, proceeds accordingly.

'MKM's burial scheme is a legitimate business that was registered lawfully and the burial activities will proceed accordingly,' he emphasised.

The minister, noted that a report will be made to the high court within three months, regarding recommendations as far as other businesses under MKM are concerned.

Regarding the Millennium Goal Society, Finance Minister, indicated that a court order has been sought for the Millennium Goal Society to stop operating as a bank as it has been discovered that its operation "is only magic".

Dr. Thahane stated that the measures have been taken to protect people's money from MKM and Millennium Goal Society.

He said, "It has come to central bank's attention that lately some people were referred to later dates to collect their claims from MKM", adding that the recently established MKM schemes were only made to generate funds for payment of claims in respect of matured schemes.

MASERU, NOV 27 (LENA) -- Traffic came to a temporary standstill at the Maseru Industrial Estate on Tuesday as news of the impending probing of MKM Burial Society started to strike home among the populace.

This was in response to Finance Minister Tim Thahane's announcement earlier today in parliament that MKM had been ordered to suspend its investment activities, pending a judicial investigation into the company's operations. Government has previously accused MKM of contravening the Financial Institutions Act.

Thahane also announced that the Central Bank of Lesotho had appointed a South African based accounting company Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to conduct a financial audit of the company of MKM and to undertake all operations, such as receipt and issuance of payments. This includes administering the funeral scheme component.

Angry and panicky investors, who are mainly ordinary people, thronged MKM premises to express solidarity with its managing director Mr

Thebe-ea-khale Letumanyane, while others had gone to demand the moneys they had invested. The investment component of the company enjoys massive support among the people, who enjoy interest rates of up to 90 percent on the amounts they stake.

They were joined by MKM employees who booed and jeered price Waterhouse Coopers representatives who had been in consultations with Mr Letumanyane. Outside, heavily armed policemen kept a watchful eye on proceedings.

Some of the employees were quick to deny suggestions that the company is experiencing financial problems, saying they are confident that even if the auditing company were to take over, investors would still get they moneys upon maturity.

Mr Letumanyane was, however, defiant as he declared to the crowd that he will never relinquish control of his company to what he referred to as 'white people.'

Evidently emotional and close to tears, he pointed out he had gone through and overcome a lot of problems and hardships to establish, develop and grow the company while the likes of Thahane were enjoying what he called the luxuries of being in the employ of World Bank.

He added that he is counting on the support of the people to see him through, but said he is not in a position to divulge details since he has already instituted legal proceedings to counter government take-over.

Maseru, Nov 28. (LENA) -- Treasury department of the government of Lesotho will stop processing public servants and pensioners payments by Stop Orders to MKM Burial Society from next month.

The Finance and Development Planning Principal Secretary, Dr Moeketsi Majoro, told LENA in an interview on Wednesday that the decision follows the suspension of  MKM  investment activities, pending a judicial investigation into the company's operations.

“We can not deduct people's salaries to pay MKM, while the court has ordered that MKM should stop accepting and giving money to its clients, until audit duties have been completed by Central Bank of Lesotho as well as Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC),” he said.

Dr. Majoro, further said that as soon as investigations are complete, arrangements will be made on how best to tackle this matter, noting that civil servants and civil pensioners will not be penalised on grounds that they delayed payments.

He appealed to members of the public to be calm as measures have been taken to protect their monies from MKM and Millennium Goal Society.

Maseru,Nov.27(LENA)--Transformation Resource Centre, an ecumenical resource centre for justice, peace and participatory development (TRC) will engage on a protest march on Friday.

A Press Release from TRC states that with the march, TRC and communities intend to show its grievance at the poor and slow manner in which the compensation process of people, who have been affected by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project(LHWP) is being handled by LHDA.

It says, "TRC and communities are not pleased at the slow manner in which the LHDA implements recommendations made by the ombudsman on the resettlement and compensation of people affected by Phase 1B of the LHWP".

The protest march will be attended by people affected by the LHWP in both Phase 1 A and B of the LHWP, including members of survivors of Lesotho Dams, which is an organisation for victims of dams in Lesotho.

The march will start at TRC's office to Lehakoe Club, and it is part of an array of TRC's lobby an advocacy strategies to put pressure on policy makers and implementers to speed up service delivery to the communities.

Transformation Resource Center was formed in 1970 as a resource centre for growth and empowerment of communities to promote justice, peace and participatory development.



The Kingdom of Lesotho Embassy in Rome
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