MASERU — Opposition youths say they are determined to take Prime Minister Mosisili head on during their election campaigns even if it means deliberately breaking the law.
They said that starting from today they will be marching along Kingsway every Thursday and Friday until this year’s general election scheduled for May 26.
“We will drive slowly along the Kingsway every Thursday and Friday wearing different party colours and shouting our slogans,” the ABC youth leader, Libe Moremoholo said.
The youths said by gathering without applying for a police clearance, they were only taking after Mosisili.
They said Mosisili last week broke the Public Gatherings and Processions Act when he addressed factory workers in Maseru.
The Act requires public gathering organisers to apply for permission to the police if their meeting will be held in an urban area.
If the public gathering is in a rural area the organisers have to seek authority from the local chief.
The application is required to be made seven days prior to the gathering.
Youth leaders from the three parties told a press conference on Monday that they were not expecting the police to arrest them because they would be imitating Mosisili.
Moremoholo said he had arranged an ABC meeting with factory workers at the Maseru West Industrial Area last Thursday when he became aware that Mosisili was going to hold a rally without police permission.
“He hastily organised his own assembly bypassing procedures stipulated in the law,” he alleged.
“If anybody would want to take any action against us for breaking the law, he would have to arrest the Prime Minister first because we are merely following him.”
The youths from the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Senkatana Party on Thursday organised a rally without police clearance after they realised that Mosisili was addressing factory workers.
“We will not be breaking any law by driving slowly along the Kingsway because there is no law prohibiting motorists to drive slowly. On the contrary the traffic law bans over speeding,” Moremoholo said.
Police spokesperson Kabelo Halahala told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday that the meaning of procession in the context of the Act means a march by people not a motorcade.
“I am not a law expert but my understanding is that they will not be breaking any law,” Halahala said.
He however said Mosisili had permission from the police to hold a rally at the Maseru West Industrial Area on Thursday last week.
“The Prime Minister’s party had initially applied for permission to hold a rally at the Thetsane Indistrial Area but the Commissioner of Police changed the venue at the last minute,” he said.
“The commissioner has a right to change public gatherings’ venue at any time when he deems fit. We can therefore conclude that the Prime Minister and his party had permission to hold their rally and address workers there.”