- says more than 100 000 have joined,
- says a BAP govt will lift Lesotho form its dependence on other countries
MORE than 100 000 people have joined the Basotho Action Party (BAP) since its formation in April 2021, party leader, Nqosa Mahao, has said.
This rapid growth has left Professor Mahao bullish and confident of victory in the elections which are due in October this year.
BAP was formed after Prof Mahao, who was then deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), fell out with Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and other members of the ruling party’s national executive committee (NEC).
He cited an alleged plot to oust him from the ABC by Dr Majoro, then leader Thomas Thabane and secretary general Lebohang Hlaele. All three denied the allegations. Ten ABC legislators including then ministers, Motlatsi Maqelepo (Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation), ‘Mamoipone Senauoane (Police and Public Safety) and Deputy Minister of Health Nto Moakhi, joined Prof Mahao in the BAP.
Addressing the media at the BAP’s offices Matsoatlareng, Maseru this week, Prof Mahao said his party had registered massive growth and plans were afoot to commemorate its first anniversary this weekend.
“BAP was created to fill the gaps that other parties failed to cover,” Prof Mahao said.
“We want to transform Lesotho and the time has come for the country to have a party that will benefit the nation. We have identified the country’s main concerns and we want Basotho to entrust us with fixing them after the elections.
“Every country must have the capacity to produce what it eats and other needs but Lesotho is not like that. We are dependent on others.
“In every crisis that we encounter, we involve other countries to help us because we are a dependent nation. We import more than we export. We are a captive market of other countries. We can’t produce for ourselves.
“It is on this basis that the BAP was established to emancipate Basotho from living on handouts to producing things for themselves. Lesotho is rich in natural resources yet we are ranked among the least developed countries in the SADC region and the entire world.
“We are well known for our high unemployment rate and we are considered the 8th poorest country in the world. About 74 percent of the budget caters for recurrent expenditure. The capital budget is only 26 percent and this means there is hardly anything allocated for production,” Prof Mahao said.
If elected, a BAP government would tackle endemic corruption and rampant killings, he said.
“In Lesotho, there is rampant corruption, killings and theft of public resources. A BAP government will change all that. We have crafted a policy document which articulates all the country’s problems and how we can overcome them. We have already built up a 100 000-strong membership. We are a democratic party and we are currently working on our elections manifesto.”
He said they would hold their first anniversary celebrations in the Mafeteng district.
The festivities will kick off today with a tree planting ceremony and clean up exercise in the Mafeteng town.
Members of the party’s women’s league will visit the elderly and those living with disabilities to assess their needs with a view to assisting them, he said.
The party will also provide sanitary towels to ‘Masentle High School students in the town.
Tomorrow, a convoy of party cars will undertake a promotional tour of the Kolo, Thaba-Phechela and Mafeteng constituencies.
“On Saturday, we will have a door-to-door campaign in the Qalabane constituency. On that same evening, BAP musicians will host a music concert in Hara Mohapi (Likhoele constituency). On Sunday we will wrap up our mission in Mafeteng district. We will start by going to church in the morning. Thereafter, we will hold a rally in town.
“At the rally, handicrafts will be showcased as part of our self-reliance initiative where we train Basotho to provide for themselves.
“Two months ago, we were in Ha-Thetsane, Maseru, and we promised to help those who were retrenched by the textile factories by teaching them to be self-reliant. Since then, we have trained many of them to produce various items which they now sell to earn their keep. We have trained many in various districts such as Leribe, Teyateyaneng, Berea and Maseru,” Prof Mahao said.