’Maesaiah lays  groundwork for political office

’Maesaiah lays groundwork for political office

MASERU-FOR years Agriculture Minister Tefo Mapesela had considered himself the rightful representative of Mokhotlong in parliament. Why not?
He is the son of Mokhotlong, a charismatic and eloquent one for that matter.

But now he might be facing someone with the same attributes.
She is the daughter of Mokhotlong. She is eloquent and charismatic in her own way.
And she is aggressive. Her name is ’Maesaiah Thabane, the former first lady, and she seems to be eying Mapesela’s seat in the next election.
Although she hasn’t declared her candidature, ’Maesaiah appears to be laying the groundwork for entry into politics. She appears to be using her charity work to do that.

Last Saturday ’Maesaiah was in the district to donate four wheelchairs.
She also pledged to build three houses for the homeless through her ’Maesaiah Thabane Trust Fund.
But while handing over the wheelchairs she appeared to be coaxing the people to turn against Mapesela.
“Your fingers have power. Do not undermine your choice,’’ ’Maesaiah said without mentioning Mapesela’s name.
Your fingers speak volumes, she said.

She promised the farmers in the district that she would buy them a vaccine for the sheep scab.
Most people in Mokhotlong eke out their living from rearing sheep and goats whose wool and mohair they sell to earn a living.
The narrative caught the attention of Mokhotlong people who live in the constituency nestled amongst the ridges and sandwiched by the gorges.
Like most constituencies in the highlands of the country, Mokhotlong is depressed and burdened with unemployment.

That seemed to be a major cause for concern for ’Maesaiah on Saturday.
She said the district is blessed with precious minerals such as diamonds and water.
But no development seems to accrue from the minerals mined from this district to benefit the locals.
“Every month we see buses loading people from here to other districts,” ’Maesaiah said.

What baffled the former First Lady is that much as the district has minerals, its people are thrown under the bus.
They are pushed out of their treasure, dehumanised and side-lined, she said.
“In 2022, you will get an answer for this.”

While making greetings before starting her speech, ’Maesaiah included Mapesela in her list of dignitaries worthy of her salute but that only triggered a serious uproar from those in attendance.
“We do not know him. We have never seen him here,” shouted the crowd.
This week Mapesela said he was not worried about ’Maesaiah.

“This person is not putting me under any pressure. In fact, she has done nothing wrong as a politician. She is entitled to go to the political grounds like anybody else. I am not afraid of her anyway,” Mapesela said.
“The only wrong thing she does is that instead of sticking to the business of donations she is holding political rallies at a time when such are barred under the law.”

“We have a law here that says we should not hold political rallies because of Covid-19. If you remember well, even at funerals we should be limited. If only she can observe that, she will not be accused of any wrongdoing.”

Majara Molupe

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