A new “movement” aimed at changing the country’s political landscape was launched in Maseru this week.
The Movement for Democracy and Development (MDD) is the brainchild of Moeketsi Alexis Hanyane, Tebello Metsing, Mokhafisi Kena, Sello Maphalla and Ntahli Matete.
Mr Hanyane is former secretary general of the Basotho Democratic National Party, while Mr Metsing is former Foreign Affairs principal secretary, and Mr Maphalla is former deputy leader of the Lesotho Workers’ Party. Mr Kena and Mr Matete are also public figures in their own right.
However, the five vehemently denied the MDD is a political party.
Mr Hanyane said the current political instability needs Basotho to form a coalition with a genuine desire for lasting peace and economic prosperity for the masses.
“After a hard-thought decision, a group of patriots met and decided to establish the Movement for Democracy and Development, and let me emphasise that this is not another political party,” Mr Hanyane said.
“In order to push this programme forward, the Movement for Democracy and Development will work with progressive Basotho workers, peasants, businesspeople, revolutionary intellectuals and people and organisations from within and outside the country who detest corruption and support the fair distribution of resources.”
Mr Hanyane also appealed to “all progressive and patriotic Basotho” to come together and end the rule of “the political elite” who have become the enemy of the people “especially the poor”.
“With its poor resources, Lesotho cannot afford to maintain corrupt, greedy and this incompetent political elite. Their greed manifests even when individuals, local or foreign, propose the establishment of businesses.
“They give out business licences in return for a stake in the proposed ventures. And if prospective investors turn down these demands, their licenses are not approved. This is what we want to end through the MDD.”
Mr Hanyane added: “In politics, the MDD would seek to reduce the number of ministers and MPs, cultivate and promote consciousness regarding ethical public duty.
“The MDD is also going to push for the change of the voting system, and depoliticisation of the public service for the benefit of the people.
“The movement is also going to ensure locals are protected by saying all businesses employing less than 10 people are reserved for Basotho.
“We will also fight corruption and foster fair distribution of resources.”
Mr Hanyane emphasised the MDD’s ultimate goal is not to secure parliamentary seats but rather, change the country’s political system, socio and economic landscape.
“It is embarrassing to seek to govern a country in this state but if individuals, political parties, and civil organisations come together and say let’s form a political party to advance the MDD’s programme, we will gladly oblige,” Mr Hanyane said.