PRIME Minister Sam Matekane has pledged to give M100, 000 as a token of appreciation to each of the 120 soldiers who were first deployed to help fight the insurgency in Mozambique.
Mr Matekane made the announcement at an event to commission Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) cadets who partook in the Serial 2 2023 training programme at Makoanyane Barracks on Friday.
Even though the country was mired in serious problems of high crime and economic stagnation, Mr Matekane said the soldiers would get paid M100 000 each by the end of this month as he had promised. That amounts to about M12 million for the 120 soldiers initially deployed to help repel the terrorists in Mozambique.
“… Today I am happy to announce that after having sat down with my cabinet…., they have agreed that this month should not go by without fulfilling that promise. Each of the soldiers will be getting M100, 000 by the end of this month,” the prime minister said.
Lesotho joined other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries in deploying troops to help quell an insurgency in Mozambique in 2021. Prime Minister Matekane visited the troops in January in Nangande district in the Cabo-Delgado province in Mozambique. He thanked them over their sterling efforts in quelling the insurgency by Islamic terrorists , The soldiers are working under the auspices of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).
The prime minister’s press attaché, Thapelo Mabote, said the money for the soldeirs would be paid by the government, clearing any confusion or misunderstandings that Mr Matekane would pay it from his own pocket.
Mr Matekane also took advantage of the Friday occasion to bemoan the problems that were plaguing the country , mainly the high crime rate which has seen a curfew being imposed to try and avert criminality.
Mr Matekane implored LDF commander, Mojalefa Letsoela, to help ensure that crime in Lesotho was brought to an abrupt end.
“We are in a very difficult time (because of this crime situation)…. I want you commander to see that this comes to an end forthwith by all means that you may….,” Mr Matekane said.
“This should come to an abrupt stop. We won’t sit back and watch our people being eaten and killed ……. You should see to it that this ends immediately… My last words to you commander is that you should protect Lesotho; and to you Basotho, let’s resort to talking out issues instead of killing each other.
“Today things have so much changed, and we don’t know what is happening. The nation is crawling in crime such that the police have to be heavily complimented by the army, which now shifts the responsibility of the army …. to fighting crime. This nation is looking up to you (the army). So do remember that you are its only hope.”