NEWLY-ELECTED Senate President ’Mamonaheng Mokitimi has pledged to prioritise implementing comprehensive reforms of various sectors in the country including the legislature to ensure political stability.
Dr Mokitimi — who is the first woman to assume the role – says the election is a victory for female empowerment, and appealing to women for their support in her endeavours.
She won the election after garnering 13 votes against Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso and former Senate deputy president Futho Hoohlo’s nine votes each during a special Senate meeting held on Tuesday.
In her acceptance speech, Dr Mokitimi said the implementation of reforms across various sectors would rank high in her list of priorities.
The government has committed to implement a host of reforms encompassing the security, legislative, judiciary, constitutional and media sectors among others to bring about political and social stability.
“My appointment comes at a time when Parliament is faced with the mammoth task of responding to the nation’s grievances; when the public service is at its worst, when women and children’s abuse are at their apex and when we are faced with a challenge of stabilising the government over its normal five-year term,” said Dr Mokitimi.
“In order to respond positively to these issues, we need to utilise our full energies to see that the constitutional reforms and those in other sectors are speedily implemented since Basotho are looking up to us with hope that we shall deliver on their part and better their lives.”
She also vowed to push for an increase in the number of senators to stimulate lively debates on pertinent issues that affect Basotho.
“As you are aware, some of the ministers are appointed from the Senate and this weakens the business of the house as they leave a great gap which can’t be bridged by our chiefs.
“The chiefs mainly deal with chieftaincy-related matters, and their level of expertise still needs to be complimented in some areas.”
The educationist said the mandate of the Senate was to help Parliament make laws that address the people’s needs.
“The only way that will be possible is if we work together as the two houses in order to unify Basotho.”
She also told the Lesotho Times in an exclusive interview that the election was a triumph for gender equality.
“My election shows that leaders in Lesotho have heeded the global call for the empowerment of women,” Dr Mokitimi said.
“I am truly humbled to have been elected to this position and feel a duty to discharge my duties with excellence, especially because I am a woman, to pave the way for others.”
Dr Mokitimi, who has a background in the education sector, joined the Senate in April 1999 serving as the assistant deputy clerk for 10 years.
She also served as a principal interpreter before resigning in 2012 when she was then elected Senate deputy president.