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Youths launch political party

by Lesotho Times

The Revolutionary Alliance for Democracy (RAD) seeks to drive an aggressive economic agenda to benefit the young generation

Billy Ntaote

Some Berea youths have formed a political party called the Revolutionary Alliance for Democracy (RAD).
The youths, from the villages of Sekameng, Ha Mabote and Khubetsoana, are under the leadership of 30-year-old Tšepo Mochali, who is an employed holder of a degree in Computer Science from the National University of Lesotho.

Mr Mochali told the Lesotho Times that the RAD had already been registered with the Law Office, while plans are at an advanced stage to register it with the Independent Electoral Commission.
“The idea to form a party came in October 2012, and on Friday last week, which was 11 July, we registered it under the Societies Act at the Law Office.
“Our party intends to revolutionise Lesotho’s economic development by driving an agenda intended to protect local entrepreneurs, with specific focus on the youths.
“We were compelled to form this party by the political situation in our country, as we have realised that since independence (from Britain) in 1966, there has not been any economic emancipation for our people,” Mr Mochali said.

“We are concerned that even our social development, as a country, has not been an agenda prioritised by political parties that continue to govern us.
“We would want to see our people economically emancipated and developed socially.”
The RAD, Mr Mochali further said, would have a rainbow and a star as its official symbols, while its colours are sky-blue, red and grey.
“We have come a long way since we started brainstorming about this party in 2012, and can proudly say we are known in every institution of higher learning in Lesotho, where we have been holding our campaigns over the months,” Mr Mochali said.

According to Mr Mochali, different governments have “come and gone” in Lesotho, but without changing the plight of the general populace, particularly the youths.
“RAD is a party that is going to transform Lesotho’s investment policies and ensure local investors are protected, while attracting foreign investors at the same time.
“We are particularly concerned about marginalised members of our society, who are not benefitting from our country’s natural resources, in addition to other societal ills, such as unemployment.
“We understand a country cannot grow economically in isolation and that it needs foreign investors. However, we don’t see our people being empowered to compete at international level with other countries for markets.
“Today, we are being told about national youth programmes of which we have not seen even a single one being implemented.
“All we see are endless workshops without any funding being provided for us to start our own businesses.

“Even under the current coalition government, the so-called Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme (launched by the Lesotho National Development Corporation in 2011 to provide local banks with a 50 percent guarantee on behalf of qualifying local enterprises to access funding) is still inaccessible for the youths aspiring to start their own businesses.
“This is what we are going to address as a party, should we be voted into power in the next general election in 2017,” Mr Mochali.
On his part, Mr Mochali’s deputy, Mokhele Matsepe, also said the RAD would ensure the youths are active players in the country’s economic development, should the party become government.
“For instance, we would want to see the youths being included in national development plans.

“The implementation of such initiatives should also reflect that the youths are being positively involved for their economic growth,” said Matsepe (26), who is a doing long-distance studies with a South African college.
“The challenges confronting our youths are wide-ranging, but you will realise that it is still very difficult to start a business as you need to have capital.
“Even if you were to have the best business proposal, for as long as you don’t have funding, you are doomed.”

Mr Matsepe also said RAD would ensure aspiring entrepreneurs are given all the support they might need should the party be given the opportunity to govern.
“Our vision, as a party, is to see Lesotho becoming a better place for all; a country where people live in peace and harmony and all Basotho pride themselves in their natural resources.
“We will make sure this is a country of equal opportunities should the electorate make us the next government when Lesotho goes for general elections in 2017.”

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