DC wants compulsory military service for youths

DC wants compulsory military service for youths

MAFETENG – DEMOCRATIC Congress (DC) leader Mathibeli Mokhothu wants Lesotho to introduce compulsory military service for youths before they can be employed in government and elsewhere.
Mokhothu told a rally in Mafeteng on Sunday that mandatory military service would inculcate patriotism and discipline.
He said several developed countries have compulsory military service and the DC will introduce a similar programme when it becomes government.

“These youths after finishing high school should go to the army first where they will be trained not only how to shoot but patriotism,” Mokhothu said.
“We will be paying them while there.”
Mokhothu also said they will develop vocational schools for youths coming from the army to further their education.
He said institutions like Lerotholi Polytechnic, Leloaleng and Thaba-Tseka Technical Institute (TTI) should be improved.

He blamed the lack of patriotism for the indiscipline in the police.
“Police and army are killing people, 44 people have already died in police custody up to today ever since this government came into power,” he added.
Youths in the ruling parties have however rubbished Mokhothu’s “dreams of militarising Lesotho youths pretending to be promoting patriotism”.

The Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) Youth League Secretary General, Retšelisitsoe Lesane, said the idea of taking youths to the army is shameful.
“Does it mean he is not patriotic as he has not been a soldier before?” Lesane asked.
“He is talking like someone who does not do researches before talking because the army’s mandate is clear. It is security,” he said.
“How can such a fresh leader like him talk like that? We were happy that his party is now led by young blood.”

Lesane said change of leadership in the DC gave hope to the entire country that youths can lead the country but Mokhothu has been a disappointment right from the start of his leadership.
“He was never a soldier. Love of the country is important but it does not necessarily mean that one has to be a soldier before they can be patriotic.”
He said patriotism can be introduced in schools so that children learn about it at a very young age.

The All Basotho Convention (ABC) youth league spokesman, Mphonyane Lebesa, said Lesotho cannot afford such a programme.
“This might as well encourage rebelling in the army because some of the youths in the country love politics at heart,” he said.
“Children are taught discipline and love in their families, churches and schools not in the army.”
“I really do not even understand the motive behind his statement, how is that possible?”

Military service is mandatory in a number of countries.
About 26 countries have made military service compulsory.
These countries include Cyprus, Burma, Brazil, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, and Israel among others.
The United States does not technically have compulsory military service but all men between 18 and 25 years must register in the Selective Service System so that conscription can be ready should the need arise.

Nkheli Liphoto


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