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People’s view of current political situation

1. Armoured police vehicles were deployed around Maseru recentlyMASERU- Now that the Parliament of Lesotho has been dissolved and the date for the holding of elections to choose a new government has been announced, many people are wondering what would happen next.

Some are worried about their businesses and workplaces as the political situation has becomes more puzzling to the ordinary man of the street. Some are even worried about the security situation as heavily-armed law enforcement and security details were seen patrolling the streets in major town across the country.

The situation become more unpredictable, at least in most people’s minds, as the Informative later found out as the newspaper carried a vox-pop around Maseru last week to hear people’s interpretation of the current status quo.

One of the interviewees, Lets’oenya Lets’oenya, a 52 year-old man, said in his view the current political situation is heading for the better of the county although the politicians have been only looking after their own interests.

He said it was much better if any decision announced in parliament is put to public vote so that the majority of people can have an input in that decision, regardless of the contrasting opinions from different parties.

Lets’oenya said it was not for the armed security forces to be seen milling around when there is no threat to peace in the country as “people are merely expressing their views.” He said all he wanted now is for the politicians to remain committed to the development of this country rather than fighting for leadership positions and not to use country’s resources for their own private gains.

However, Florina Pitso aged 26 said there was no need to go for an election under the current situation “because we will still come out with coalition government that will still not make it to five years. Therefore it is not wise to waste this money which the politicians claim not being there, but rather concentrate on how to improve our economy for the betterment of this county.”

On the other hand, Pitso said, elections may be good for the many unemployed youths as they would benefit from the peace jobs that come with the elections and get something out of them rather than just watching politicians pocketing all money.

In her own view, Pitso found it necessary for the security forces to patrol and intervene it this situation to maintain peace. She said some rogue elements of society take advantage of the current situation to hide behind the politicians while they have an intention to kill and maim people. She further appealed to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to strengthen laws regulating the formation of political parties in future to minimize the number of parties that are taking chances.

However, another 58 year-old Maseru resident who refused to be identified argued that the nation was in a state of confusion at the moment because “everyone has become a political analyst lately”. She added that some politicians pocket millions of money for their own use during the election period, thereby hindering the development of the country.

She pleaded with the authorities to respect citizens and stop threatening them when they raise their opinions. She added that it is their right to choose the government that they want.

“As the rightful citizens of this country we are entitled to freedom of speech and movement,” she said.

Another unidentified Mosotho man aged 32 said going for elections or not did not solve anything for this country.

“There will be no change in this country’s political situation as all political leaders are the same. They are all hungry for power so that they can do as they please when they are at the top and take the country’s money into their pockets,” he said.

On the other hand, a 68 year-old granny, who also could not reveal her identity had a sinister view of the members of parliament (MPs):

“In my view the parliamentarians are people who get paid for nothing. We just see them fighting, but we do not know what they are fighting for. These people don’t come back to see us once we vote for them. When I look at MPs, I see those expensive brands that are just there to shine and do nothing for us.”

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