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All set for uhuru celebrations

by Lesotho Times


Pascalinah Kabi

ALL is set for Lesotho’s golden independence jubilee celebrations to be held at Setsoto Stadium next Tuesday, with Basotho urged to come in their numbers to the national event.

Lesotho turns 50 on 4 October 2016 after having attained independence from Britain in 1966.

National Celebrations Committee spokesperson Ratokelo Nkoka this week told the Lesotho Times King Letsie III and Queen ‘Masenate Bereng Seeiso were expected to lead the commemorations which will be held amid pomp and fanfare.

Mr Nkoka said King Letsie III, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and a representative of the invited heads of states would address the gathering. He said of the invited countries, Swaziland and Botswana had already confirmed their attendance.

“His Majesty will be the keynote speaker during the celebrations. The other two speakers are Dr Mosisili and a representative of the invited heads of states,” he said.

“We are urging Basotho to come in numbers. There will be a lot of traditional activities ranging from mokhibo, mohobelo, ndlamo and other unique traditional dances from Mokhotlong and Quthing.”

Mr Nkoka also revealed members of the Lesotho Defence Force would also entertain the crowd with spectacular displays.

While next Tuesday would be the highlight of the independence jubilee celebrations, Home Affairs Minister Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane has stressed the celebrations will be ongoing and only end on 4 October 2017.

On the eve of the celebrations, the independence torch will be lighted Sefikeng Monumental Site.

Next Tuesday’s celebrations will be the culmination of a number of activities carried out to mark the milestone.

On 10 August 2016, King Letsie III launched Lesotho’s 50th Independence celebrations by lighting the ceremonial torch at Makoanyane Square in Maseru.

The Independence Torch has been rotating throughout all 10 districts as part of the commemorations. Each district kept the torch for two days before passing it to the next.

It reached Maseru on 6 September at a ceremony held at St. James Primary and High School grounds ahead of the national ceremony.

Also in keeping with the celebrations, His Majesty unveiled the Moshoeshoe I Statue at Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village on 2 September.

The statue was built in 2010 at a cost of M1.5 million to honour Moshoeshoe I, who brought together several scattered groups of Sotho people to form the Basotho nation.

The next day, His Majesty launched the Independence Walk in Maseru which began in the city centre and ended at Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village.

During the walk, a number of government ministers, principal secretaries and other senior government officials participated.

On 15 September, the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) launched a limited edition plated bi-metal M5 commemorative circulation coin which is expected to start circulating next Tuesday. On the same day, the Christian Council of Lesotho held a National Independence Prayer service at the ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre calling for introspection and reconciliation as well as restoration.

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