By Letuka Chafotsa
THABA-TSEKA — The Basotho National Party (BNP) is pledging to revive former Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan’s policies on poverty eradication and development for Lesotho.
Jonathan ruled Lesotho from 1965 up to 1986 when he was overthrown in a coup by General Metsing Lekhanya.
While addressing a BNP supporters at a rally at Methalaneng in the Thaba-Moea constituency at the weekend, party leader, sports minister Thesele ‘Maseribane said the only way to develop and advance Basotho is through reviving policies of Jonathan’s regime as they worked in people’s best interests.
“The good policies that Ntate Leabua’s government implemented are not outdated and the BNP is ready to carry them forward now,” ‘Maseribane said.
BNP is a junior partner in Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s coalition government formed with the premier’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).
Maseribane said his party was a home for all Basotho as it did not believe in discrimination on any grounds.
“The BNP is modelled around King Moshoeshoe I’s ideology of bringing communities together,” ‘Maseribane said.
“That is why the BNP was advocating for communities to collectively engage in commercial agriculture for sustainable development.”
‘Maseribane said the BNP would revive co-operatives and reminded supporters of enterprises such as the now defunct Egg Circles where eggs were collected from poultry farmers on a large scale to sell to the general public.
“For example, we had Egg Circles for collection of eggs from poultry farmers and we were the market of the nation, so please cast your vote for us,” ‘Maseribane said.
‘Maseribane said Lesotho’s development ceased with the overthrow of Leabua’s government as there were no major infrastructural projects thereafter.
“There was no construction of roads and no new police stations were built to curb the alarming rate of crime in the country,” ‘Maseribane said.
‘Maseribane had earlier arrived on the back of a horse surrounded by throngs of singing, dancing and ululating BNP supporters.
“It’s the culture of the BNP to be part of the mob and not be escorted by security personnel,” ‘Maseribane said.
“When attending several BNP gatherings, even BNP founder Ntate Leabua used to arrive on the back of a horse as he enjoyed being part of party supporters.”
Flanked by health deputy minister Dr Nthabiseng Makoae, BNP national coordinator Tšita Letsie and youth league president Ts’eliso Lesenya, ‘Maseribane said he believed in collective responsibility in handling public issues and therefore appealed to the Thaba-Moea community to work together with the BNP’s by-election candidate Matsemela Khasoane.
He also pleaded with him to be trustworthy and loyal to the constituency members and that there should not be elements of discrimination in the BNP.
“We do not discriminate against anybody while in government but we advocate for addressing issues at all times,” ‘Maseribane said.
He further pleaded with BNP members who migrated to other political parties to “return home to the BNP”.
“We’re a peaceful organisation and our colours are testimony as we’re dedicated to peace,” ‘Maseribane said.