Basotho National Party (BNP) Youth League President ‘Machere Seutloali, who made history last weekend when she became the first female to occupy the post, has vowed to continue making the organisation a critical entity of the party.
Ms Seutloali outpolled Mokhameleli Thamae 178-140 on Saturday to claim one of the BNP’s most influential positions, whose previous incumbents include party luminaries such as Paul Mabathoana, Thesele ‘Maseribane, Moeketsi Hanyane, Tšepo Monethi and Tšeliso Lesenya.
“As the party’s first female youth leader, I’m thrilled with this opportunity granted me today. I was previously deputy secretary of the Youth League. I’ve witnessed and learned a lot from those who came before me in this position of Youth League president.
“I have to match their successes and strive to achieve more than they ever did in this position,” said Ms Seutloali.
Seutloali recalled being an active member of the BNP from as early as 13 years of age during the country’s 1998 political upheaval.
However, the 31-year-old told the Lesotho Times that she would fight for gender-equity at party and national level while also championing the cause of the youths.
“I will strive towards ensuring as an organisation, we uphold international protocols on women empowerment within the party and as a nation. We are also going to pursue the same agenda at all levels of leadership for the development of our women who are the most disadvantaged in the distribution of wealth and leadership,” Ms Seutloali said.
“We have a very high number of girls in primary and high school but this figure dwindles when it comes to tertiary institutions. We will be finding out why this is the case and make sure the situation is redressed.
“Again, we are going to empower women to realise their strengths and urge them to participate more in development initiatives.”
Talking about her remarkable win, Ms Seutloali said she had a lot of respect for Mr Thamae and would consult him from time to time regarding party affairs.
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“I should emphasise that I did not win because he was a weak candidate. He was a very strong candidate who showed he was worthy of being elected youth leader just like me,” she said.
“It should also be known that I am not influenced by anybody in my ways of doing things and I can stand my own ground. I also do not believe in any individuals but the BNP as an organisation. I will strive to work for unity among BNP youths at all times in my new assignment.”
New BNP Youth League committee
President- ‘Machere Seutloali; Deputy President- Nameko Nkuebe; Secretary-Thabisi Soko; Deputy Secretary- Sam Mphoso; Treasurer- Konesoang Bereng; National Organiser- Lehlohonolo Khiba; Spokesperson- Khotso Ramokhele; Organisers- Lebohang Mokhatholane (North), Tšeliso Masoatsa (South), Puleng Hanong (Central), Penane Penane (Maluti); Members-Refiloe Molapo, Aletta Kekele, Tsietse Beile, Mookho.