I hope the election ushers peace, growth and prosperity – Lesotho voter

2015-02-28 13:10

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Voters in Lesotho hope the election that is currently under way will put paid to the country’s many coup attempts and set it on the straight and narrow.

Thousands, in the capital Maseru, descended on a handful of voting stations to cast their votes, which they hope will usher everlasting peace.

The elections were brought forward by two years following a coup attempt in August last year, which saw Prime Minister Thomas Thabane flee to South Africa. Thabane is the leader of the All Basotho Convention.

Letsoalo Mokwape, who voted at the Maseru Methodist Primary School in Sea Point, said it was about time the country corrected perceptions that it was a nation ruled by decree, army generals and coups. “We have had so many coups, and coup attempts. We are actually a peaceful country and we should be known for our peace. I hope the election will usher a period of peace, growth and prosperity for all our citizens.”

Mokwape said he voted for Thabane. “I support Thabane because he has convinced me that he is working for the people. I want change, I want all the Basotho people to have a better life.”

Mautopi Lebofa, who voted at the Ha Hoohlo Primary School near the Maseru boarder said he hoped that political instability will go away. “It has been part of our politics and culture for a long time now. We are hoping for the best. Our politicians are always squabbling, like a family.” The country, he said, needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission like South Africans had immediately after the end of apartheid.

The brickmaker said the incoming government should make funding available for small businesses like his to expand and prosper.

Equally happy about the prospects of a new and peaceful country was Khopotso Liphoto, a resident of Maseru. “The voting went very well. We were totally unhappy about what was happening in our country. The coup attempt last year was instigated by a certain clique pushing its own agenda.”

Thabane, he said, was much more likely to win the election than any of the other 24 parties contesting the elections. “Since he came to power in 2013, he has done a lot to deal with stock theft. Stock farming is big here and if you address issues related to that, you are likely to win the people over.”

There are about 1.2 million registered voters in Lesotho.

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