LESOTHO Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) president, Khiba Mohoanyane has appealed to the new government to increase the budget allocated for sports, saying the current M7million allocation is grossly inadequate to fund their programmes.
All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane was last Friday sworn in as the new Prime Minister after his party emerged the biggest winner in the snap polls on 3 June that were held in the aftermath of the 1 March no confidence vote that was passed by the then-opposition on the seven parties’ coalition government headed by Pakalitha Mosisili.
The ABC subsequently combined its 48 seats with the Alliance of Democrats’ nine, Basotho National Party’s five and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho’s one, enabling them to pass the 61-seat threshold required to form government in the 120-seat National Assembly.
Former Prime Minister Mosisili’s Democratic Congress obtained 26 constituency seats and four PR seats and former Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy obtained one constituency seat and 10 PR seats.
Mohoanyane this week said the ousted government had promised to allocate M15 million in the previous budget speech only for them to give them the meagre M7million they had been getting for many years.
“You can understand how difficult it has been for us with the M7million that should be shared between all the sports associations and the mother body for all its activities,” Mohoanyane said.
LSRC has 30 affiliates and the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) receives the biggest chunk of M1million every year.
“We have been given the paltry M7million for far too long and it’s just too little to meet our demands.
“We had been promised an improved M15 million when we requested M24million but it never came though it was approved and we do not really know as to what went wrong,” said Mohoanyane who is also LeFA first vice president.
He said this had resulted in a “trend where our sports association just go to different competitions just to honour them and not to compete”.
He said LSRC came with development programmes which it found difficult to implement due to lack of funds, adding, “Developing young talent is an expensive excise”.
He also said it was important to have the proper infrastructure which would not only help develop young talent but also enable the country to be able to host international sporting events.
“It is important to have the right infrastructure for sports development.
“You go out of Maseru it is a disaster. Imagine how difficult it is for a youngsters based outside the capital if they want to play tennis.
“It’s a nightmare and very difficult to achieve our goals hence our appeal to the new government to come to our rescue.”
All the sports associations depend on the government subvention to participate in international competitions as well as sponsoring domestic competitions.