. . . Promises a lean cabinet
UNITED for Change (UfC) leader, ’Malichaba Lekhoaba, will reduce the size of cabinet to just 16 ministers if voted into power in the 7 October 2022 elections.
The outgoing government has 26 ministers and nine deputies.
Launching her party’s manifesto at a rally held at Mojalefa Lephola Victory Hall in Maseru over the weekend, Ms Lekhoaba said a lean cabinet would enable the country to save money.
“We are going to reduce the cabinet to just 16 ministers. We believe that a reduced cabinet would be more effective. We will then take the excess ministerial vehicles to critical departments that need to reach out to the people most of the time, such as the police,” she told an estimated 500 supporters.
Ms Lekhoaba said police were failing to attend to crime due to lack of transport and this needed to be addressed urgently.
The Harvest FM radio founder said her government would also empower Basotho to venture into self-reliant projects.
This year’s elections were crucial and call for Basotho to make a bold decision to save the country from its current challenges, which include poverty and unemployment.
“This is time for change. We believe God has set this time and His timing is always perfect. UfC is here to bring back peace, law, and stability. This can only be achieved if people vote for UfC,” Ms Lekhoaba said.
She said one of her government’s top priorities would be to grow the economy and improve services.
We’ll work hard to end poverty and make sure that all Basotho benefit from the country’s natural resources.
“We have a serious problem in this country where the gap between the rich and the poor keeps growing. The rich are fighting to get richer than the country itself, whilst the poor are getting poorer,” Ms Lekhoaba said.
She urged young people to join politics so that they can decide the country’s future.
Ms Lekhoaba said that Lesotho has been unlucky to be led by incompetent leaders who failed to address its pressing challenges.
“Politics has now become a competition. Basotho have sold their future and that of their children by entertaining petty promises made by politicians when campaigning. What do you expect to get from a corrupt politician when you give them power?” she said.
She also said her government would ensure that agriculture sustains the country.
It would also help Basotho set up factories. “We are convinced that Basotho have the capacity to start their own factories if they are assisted with government funding.”
Ms Lekhoaba said taxi operators would be allowed to regulate their affairs without government meddling.
A UfC government would also empower the security sector by giving the police and the army more resources like transport.
She said her government would ensure that the deployment of civil servants at the country’s embassies is transparent.
“Some politicians see our foreign embassies as mines where they deploy their friends as pay back for their loyalty. Once in government we are going to review our foreign missions. We’ll close those that are not benefitting the country’s development,” she said.
Her government would also construct new highway roads and bridges across the country to reduce accidents and boost business.
“We’ll give the Public Works and Transport ministry more resources to maintain and repair existing roads.”
A UfC government would also empower the Lesotho Post Bank so that it can give out loans to grow local businesses.
It would also introduce policies to ensure that domestic workers and shepherds get decent wages.
“We’ll also assist local artists to visit other countries to showcase their talents. This will help promote the country,” Ms Lekhoaba said.
Her government would also improve recreational facilities and build a new national sports stadium to replace “this pigsty”. She was referring to Setsoto Stadium, which is now in a dilapidated state.
“Sports are a very important aspect of our lives as they help combat crime among youths. We will support all sporting codes so that they can realise their full potential,” she said.
A UfC government would increase old age monthly pensions from the current M850 to M1 000, and reduce pensionable age from 70 to 65 so that more people can benefit.
People with disabilities would get a M200 monthly allowance and orphans under the age of 18, M300.
The UfC leader said her government would hire more qualified teachers and set up more vocational offering skills training schools.
It would also reform the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) and ensure that all those who received loans pay them back.
Service providers would be paid within three months to enable their businesses to stay afloat, Ms Lekhoaba said.