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We want to see clean governance, says MP



ROMA – PITSO Lesaoana, who won the Maama constituency on the ticket of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) becomes the fourth lawmaker living with disability in the last 20 years.

Lesotho has had at least three Mps living with disability, with one of them – Advocate Moses Masemene – going up the ladder to become a minister in the Pakalitha Mosisili-led government.

The other two were a late taxi operator by the name of Maholela and the Principal Chief of Taung, Moeketsi Moletsane III, who is still in the senate. All the three served in the senate.

Lesaoana will shortly be sworn-in as an MP.

The question of reserved seats for marginalised groups such as the youth, women and disabled people has repeatedly been raised over the years.

As for Lesaoana, he has defied the odds by becoming one of the first persons living with disability to win election at constituency level. Lesaoana is from Maphotong, Ha-Mafefooane in Roma.

He is wheelchair-bound and has lived the better part of his life with disability due to an injury – but this has not undermined his potential as an achiever.

Lesaoana is involved in the construction and plant hire business and also does farming as a hobby.

When the RFP was formed ahead of this year’s parliamentary elections Lesaoana contested in the party primary election and won before convincingly clinching the Maama constituency in the October 7 election.

Lesaoana does not possess any extensive experience in politics as he had never been in any political party structures before joining the RFP party.

When the RFP was formed by renowned business leader, Sam Matekane, Lesaoana did not hesitate. He jumped at the opportunity to liaise with the political party, which he felt was going to help Lesotho to reach greater heights due to the man behind the project.

“My political journey is new and quite simple. I had never been in any political party or structure before. I joined the RFP simply because it was founded by Mr Matekane,” Lesaoana said.

“I found out that in its founding statements, people from all walks of life are actually encouraged to be in leadership roles.”

The law governing suitability for one to stand for election stipulates that anyone above the age of 18 years can stand for elections provided they are mentally fit and there is no barrier to gender.

Lesaoana is against the idea that there should be reserved seats for certain groups.

“I think the way the RFP did it is the best way. Open the gates for everyone, choose on merit but still allow the people to decide,” he said.

Lesaoana argues that from childhood, both males and females are exposed to similar opportunities as they are sent to the same schools.

“This is where they begin to outshine one another due to their different capabilities. It is therefore ideal that this equal footing of exposing males and females is extended to issues of governance.

Nobody should be given an upper hand over the other on a silver platter,” he said.

The Maama constituency is diverse as people of different backgrounds converge in this place to run their errands.

The constituency is home to several tertiary institutions such as vocational training colleges, nursing and theology institutions and the National University of Lesotho.

It also boasts of people who are still attached to the rural life of agricultural production and rearing of animals.

“This constituency in essence comprises urban, semi-urban and rural areas. Winning the Maama constituency means a lot to me. It means that the residents have entrusted their hope in me therefore the last thing to do is to disappoint them,” Lesaoana said.

Lesaoana said he has been following the events and trends in the political landscape of the country.

According to him, the government began to go astray when civil servants started engaging in office malfeasance with impunity.

“Corruption is a major factor which has contributed to the downfall of this country. Many grievances and complaints that the public have about the outgoing government such as corruption and nepotism are prevalent in the public service,” said Lesaoana.

Lesaoana said the incoming government will strive to act on these issues.

“In our tenure in government leadership, I would like to see the improvement of the economy and livelihoods of people from grassroots level. I would also like to see a clean governance,” he says.

Calvin Motekase

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