Group wants Covid-19 gazette reviewed

Group wants Covid-19 gazette reviewed

MASERU-A CIVIL society organisation, Development for Peace Education (DPE), this week demanded a review of the Covid-19 gazette which was issued by the government last month.

The DPE director, Sofonea Shale, said some sections of the gazette were anti-people and must be reviewed.
Presenting the new proposals dubbed the “People’s Response Platform on Covid-19 (PRP)”, the DPE lashed out at regulations that barred taxi operators from carrying the maximum number of passengers.

Shale said transport operators had told them that they were running at a loss by carrying a limited number of passengers without any subsidy from the government.
“(They must) allow full capacity operation of passenger motor vehicles,” he said.

On Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s order that all people rendering services to the public should wear masks, Shale said people in the districts were not happy with the requirement.
He said the “government should provide masks to the public transport operators so that they can give every passenger a mask”.

He also criticised the short operating hours of 8am to 4pm for taxi operators saying they were hampering their business.
“Allow public transport to operate 24 hours,” he said.

Shale said the government’s promise to subsidise textile workers’ salaries by an additional M800 has not materialized resulting in dire economic consequences for workers.
The DPE said the people also expressed concern over the non-inclusion of workers in the decision making process.
“Workers are side-lined as government and employers plan and work alone,” he said.

Shale said workers are being referred to the Lesotho National Development Corporation when they inquire about the promised pay-outs and the LNDC’s “response is not forthcoming”.
He also said the M800 would be paid to workers using banks “but non-banked workers are excluded”.

He also raised a concern that Basotho in South Africa have not been given food and the criteria for distributing it has not been given.
“It was said that the government would have by now distributed food but up to now nothing has (happened),” he said.
“There is no proper care of people getting into the country and they are not being given their ARVs,” he said.

He said during the Covid-19 screening people should be asked about their HIV medication so that they are linked to health centres.
Shale said the fight against Covid-19 is not the government’s war alone but for the whole nation.

Minister of Health Nkaku Kabi said he sees no problem in fixing problems that need to be fixed.
“If the gazette needs to be changed it should,” Kabi said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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