MASERU – Home Affairs Minister Lesao Lehohla (pictured above) has exhorted foreigners granted Basotho citizenship to actively participate in the country’s politics.
He said this while officiating at a ceremony to grant citizenship to 48 foreigners from various African and Asian countries on Monday.
The status allows the immigrants to enjoy the full rights of a citizen, a privilege that Lehohla said should be fully utilised.
“Take part in electing governments. Register for elections and vote. Your vote is as good as mine,” he said.
“It is your civic duty to select a government. Know how the country is governed so that, come election times, you know your responsibilities.”
Lehohla, who is also the deputy prime minister, appealed to the newly sworn-in citizens to live and abide by the constitution.
“To be a good citizen you should know the laws that govern the country. You must have understood the provisions of the constitution,” he said.
One should have stayed in the country for at least five years without a criminal record to qualify for citizenship. Those granted the status are barred from being citizens of any other country, according to the country’s laws.
“This is a very big and difficult decision you have taken to denounce your birth countries to settle in Lesotho. Lesotho does not allow dual citizenship. It is Lesotho and Lesotho only,” said Lehohla.
“Be loyal taxpayers. Be employees that treat their employers with respect and invest your money here.
“Countries give citizenship to people who could be of good use. We want good teachers, doctors and businessmen. It is my hope that you will contribute to the economic well-being of our country, your country.”