Mokhothu must revoke M5,000 MP petrol allowance – online petition gains momentum
MASERU – An online petition protesting the 5,000 Maloti tax-free monthly allowances for members of parliament is attracting attention from Basotho in the diaspora who were previously unable to show their support.
It says deputy prime minister Mathibeli Mokhothu, who proposed the regulations in his capacity as leader of the house, must revoke the regulations as a matter of urgency and that money should be used to fund targeted initiatives needed to support vulnerable Basotho.
The petition started by Unity says in March 2021, the National Assembly passed the Members of Parliament (Amendment of schedule) Regulations of 2020, which were put forward by Mokhothu.
“The regulations entitle members of parliament to lucrative benefits when Basotho businesses are shutting down, workers are losing their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and public sector workers are having to deal with no pay increases. This will inevitably make Lesotho a society based on poverty for many and prosperity for a few.” says the introduction to the petition.
Youth have been protesting individually in the country, but their attempt to march to parliament was aborted when campaigners – Kananelo Boloetse, Motsamai Mokotjo and Resetselemang Jane were detained and questioned by police but never charged.
The trio says among others police threatened them with criminal records that would end their studies
“Heavily armed police forcefully threw us in the van and took us to Maseru central police station where were detained for about six hours without charges.” says Boloetse.
Boloetse says they were released on condition that they should be available whenever the police want them because they are a threat to national security.
These are some of the comments from people who have now signed the petition.
“It hurts seeing parliamentarians giving themselves lot of money yet citizens die in hunger and covid.” Molifi Ntšonyana
“I’m signing because there are so many youths who are stranded at our communities without jobs,yet the government instead of creating a fund that can spearhead them into business the Mps are chowing this money increasing government spending excessively” – Mohale Lebina
“75% of the country lives in poverty, need I say more??!” – Nkhala Molapo
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