DC on charm offensive to win polls

MASERU — The Democratic Congress (DC) has gone on a charm offensive to win the youth vote promising to push for the “inclusion and influence of the youth in policymaking” if it wins the May 26 election.

The election manifesto was launched by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili at a well attended rally at Ha-Foso on Sunday.

The manifesto also tackles issues such as infrastructural development, agriculture and food security, economic development and job creation and the empowerment of women.

The party promises to give special attention to the elderly, orphans, the disabled and vulnerable children.

The DC also says it will decentralise democracy and develop further its foreign policy especially with Lesotho’s neighbours.

With 50 percent of Lesotho’s population comprising young people “we undertake to work hard to provide youths with a platform to realise their goals”.

“The youth will be given a platform to influence policy-making which will in turn provide them with opportunities to advance and become independent,” the document says.

“This is because the youth are the backbone of governance and this country’s development.”

The DC promises to invest in the youth in a bid to build their confidence in business.

To achieve this, the DC says it will develop the curriculum in schools to align itself to the Millennium Development Goals.

“We will provide the youths with skills pertaining to self-employment and sustainability of their businesses as well as increasing the number of institutions providing those skills,” the document says.

“We will also create temporary jobs for youths still in tertiary institutions and also train them to be in a position to compete for jobs on the international market.”

The DC adds that it would also implement the National Youth Service policy programmes for students in secondary and high schools.

On economic development and job creation, the DC says it will “properly develop and distribute the economy” in a manner that will enable Basotho to acquire jobs that will improve their qualityof life.

“The DC will increase the number of manufacturing factories and businesses as well as put in place eco-friendly technology to preserve power, the environment and natural resources,” it says.

“We will also develop small and medium enterprises and build new ones where there are none. We will also improve partnerships between Basotho businessmen and foreign investors.”

On infrastructure, the DC says it will build more roads, maintain existing ones and build bridges.

“The DC will construct new bus-stops across the country, with markets from which vendors will sell their wares,” the document says.

“Because Lesotho is blessed with water and wind, resources which can be used to generate electricity, the DC will provide over 50 percent of households with power.”

The DC promises to also improve telecommunications nationwide as well as provide Basotho with clean water and proper sewerage systems.

The party also says it will provide housing for military, police and correctional services personnel “as well as all government departments providing essential services”.

“The DC will select independent constructors and bring them under one umbrella where they will be engaged in building middle and high cost housing for Basotho,” the document says.

“We will also strive to ensure that low cost housing is provided to those earning less. The houses will be constructed in selected areas designed for the purpose.”

On the advancement of women, the DC promises to revise legislation pertaining to inheritance so that it is “at par with international conventions”.

“The DC will propose laws favouring the protection of women and girls as well as enlightening them on discriminatory tendencies, especially those against disabled women,” the manifesto pledges.

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