Opposition motion on land thrown out

MASERU — The ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) MPs together with their National Independent Party (NIP) allies on Friday rejected a motion by the opposition to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate how many foreigners have gained land unlawfully in Lesotho.

The motion, tabled by the leader of the opposition Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), Moeketse Malebo, also sought an investigation into how foreigners gained land unlawfully “if that was the case”.

Malebo said the 1979 Land Act required a foreigner who held land in Lesotho for business purposes to be in partnership with a Lesotho citizen.

The citizen, according to the Act, had to own 51 percent of the land.

Motumi Ralejoe an MP for the opposition All Basotho Convention party who represents Lithabaneng constituency argued that the ad hoc committee would be important because it would help to straighten the wrongs that have been happening in land allocation.

Ralejoe was booed when he addressed the House.

“This issue is important because we have to know if the law was followed to the letter,” Ralejoe said.

No LCD/NIP member gave any reasons why the motion should be thrown out.

When the deputy speaker of parliament Sephiri Motanyane asked those who disagreed, the LCD/NIP MPs shouted in unison against the motion.

The motion was then blocked.

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