MOVEMENT of Economic Change (MEC) leader, Selibe Mochoboroane has called for the introduction of the Xhosa and Sephuthing languages in the curriculum of the Quthing district.
Mr Mochoboroane made the call while addressing party supporters at a recent campaign rally in A’skop in the Quthing district ahead of the 3 June national elections.
The rally was held to drum up support for MEC ahead of the snap elections that were announced by King Letsie III in the aftermath of the opposition bloc’s successful no confidence vote against the Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili-led seven parties’ coalition government on 1 March.
And last week, Mr Mochoboroane took his campaign to the Quthing district where teachers and locals have previously called on government to introduce the use of the Xhosa and Sephuthing languages in the education system as they were spoken by many people in the district.
Mr Mochoboroane promised that, if elected into office, he would ensure the two languages became official languages.
“There are three things special about this district; here people speak English, Sesotho, Xhosa and Sephuthing,” Mr Mochoboroane said.
“Therefore, we should ensure that children who speak Xhosa and Sephuthing are taught in their own languages,” he said, adding this would help them to learn easily.
He also said the district had a special kind of aloe plant which could be used in business opportunities to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate.
“There is aloe-vera juice produced in my area (Thabana Morena) and this kind of aloe comes from Quthing.
“Our economy depends on this kind of aloe and we can come up with proper strategies to make good use of it.”
Mr Mochoboroane also said the special caves in the Masitise cultural area in the district presented potentially lucrative tourism opportunities.
He also emphasised need to resuscitate a crop production project that existed in Quthing during the tenure of the Basotho National Party (BNP) regime in the 1980s near the Senqu River.
He said the project could assist in poverty alleviation while generating employment for locals.
He also called for a review of the mode of paying back the student loans, saying there should be special exemptions for graduates who established viable businesses as they helped reduce unemployment and contributed to overall economic development.
“Currently a graduate who is employed by government pays back 50 percent of the loan bursary and one who is employed in the private sector is expected to pay 60 percent while those working outside the country should pay 100 percent of the loan bursary.
“But we are saying if a sponsored graduate created jobs they should not pay back anything as a means of incentivising job creation.
“We should also ensure that the Manpower (NMDS) is restructured to end the students’ strikes which happen every now and then as a result of delays in disbursing loans.
“There is absolutely no need for students, whose institutions open in August, to always go on strike complaining about the delays in getting their monies, yet the government’s funds come into operation as early as April each year.”
He also called for the upward review of village health workers’ allowances, saying, “These people play a very important role at village level because they give primary health care”.
A village health worker receives M300 from government every three months while those that are engaged by non-governmental organisations get anything from M300 to M700 depending on the organisation.
The MEC supporters also danced to a campaign song whose lyrics boasted that Mr Mochoboroane would retain his Thabana Morena constituency seat that he won in 2015 under the banner of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).
He left the LCD to lead MEC in February this year.