Senate VP commits to SADC reforms
NEWLY-APPOINTED Senate Vice-President Tšepo Monethi’s story can be best described as that of steely determination which has ensured his rise to one of the top positions in the country’s governance institutions.
Mr Monethi was elected vice-president along with Senate President, Mamonaheng Mokitimi on 4 July, 2017.
The latter succeeded Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso.
Although he was coy about revealing his age, Mr Monethi is believed to be the youngest to occupy the post.
He was born in Ha Tsosane, Maseru and attended Motimposo Primary and later proceeded to Khubetsoana High schools.
Thereafter, he enrolled with the Institute of Business studies in South Africa and obtained a Higher Diploma in Business Administration.
In 2001, he lectured at the Centre for Further Studies which was then based at the BNP Centre.
“The institute opened doors for Basotho children who wanted to further their studies in South Africa,” Mr Monethi said.
Two years later, Mr Monethi was elected National Secretary of the National Youth League of the Basotho National Party (BNP) and became youth league until 2010.
“I was at one time the BNP Public Relations Officer but unfortunately I lost the elections within the party in 2013 so I had to step down.”
He was however, elected deputy secretary general of the national executive committee in 2016, a position he currently holds.
“I first contested in national elections in 2007 in the Mosalemane constituency in the Berea district. I became a parliamentarian in 2012 and I was the only newcomer in that eighth parliament who was a member of a business committee.”
He subsequently represented Lesotho at the Pan-African Parliament and was part of their team of observers in elections in countries such as Zimbabwe, Mali and Algeria.
He lost his parliamentary seat after the 2015 elections in Lesotho and took up commercial farming which had been his first love while growing up.
Mr Monethi paid tribute to his late grandfather for mentoring and instilling a love for politics.
“My grandfather had so much trust in me and believed I would make it far in politics and that goes for the rest of the family who have been at my side throughout my political journey.”
He said he was deeply humbled by his latest election at the senate and vowed to do his best.
“I am going to work with chiefs who are a privileged class of citizens by virtue of birth. As a commoner they are my principals. I will have to respect them and at the same time lead them.”
He also said he was confident he would work well with senate president, Mamonaheng Mokitimi, who he described as suitable for the top job.
“I am a very controversial person and I do not believe in choosing women for the sake of it. I want us to choose women on merit and I know that our senate president is fully capable.
“She (Ms Mokitimi) will be able to move this house forward. Not because she is a woman but because she has the capabilities.”
He said while the senate was underrated by many people, it however, played a crucial role in the legislative process through oversight, scrutinising and making the necessary amendments to bills in an impartial manner.
He said he and Ms Mokitimi will give full attention to the Southern African Development Community recommendations for constitutional, governance and security sector reforms to achieve lasting stability in Lesotho.
SADC made the recommendations in 2016.