MP attacks ‘Chinafication’ of Lesotho

MP attacks ‘Chinafication’ of Lesotho

MASERU – FIREBRAND leader of the Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Selibe Mochoboroane, wants China’s role in Lesotho clipped.
Mochoboroane’s comments could indicate a discomfort among politicians with China’s growing role in Lesotho’s politics and business affairs.
Speaking at an independence rally for his MEC party in Maputsoe last Thursday, Mochoboroane said Basotho should remain wary of the threat of neo-colonialism driven by the Chinese.
He said he finds it odd that the government would go all out to defend a Chinese national in the battle for the control of Lesotho’s wool and mohair.

Under new regulations promulgated by the government this year, all wool and mohair farmers are supposed to sell their product to Stone Shi, a Chinese national, a decision that has riled farmers.
Mochoboroane said the government had not explained why it had not given the same opportunity to a Mosotho.
He said a Chinese national slapped a government minister in Uganda after he failed to award a tender to a Chinese company. He said that will soon happen in Lesotho.
Mochoboroane however insisted that he had nothing against China as a country.

“It is important that China has good relations with Lesotho but we should not be allowed to be enslaved by the Chinese in our own country,” he said.
He said in the past Basotho were running supermarkets but as soon as the Chinese came, that ended as Chinese pushed out locals from their businesses.
“One day we will find Chinese herd boys in the cattle posts like in South Africa where the Chinese roast maize in the streets,” Mochoboroane said.
He said Africa should be aware so that they do not find themselves being captured by the Chinese.

“We have decolonised from the British and now we are being taken over by the Chinese,” he said.
He said if the government chooses the Chinese to be their advisers, we will soon find ourselves losing control in our own country.
Mochoboroane, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Thabana Morena constituency, said Lesotho is being governed with a remote control.
He said this is the case because the country is poor.

And in order for the country to free itself from the clutches of neo-imperialists, “we have to use our own resources so that we do not get rice donations from China”.
He said there are some Chinese crooks who are pushing to take control of the country through a gradual process.
Mochoboroane said some companies even prefer to give jobs to some Chinese nationals even when have similar skills or are better qualified.
He told his supporters that he will not back down in his criticism of the Chinese.

“It is about time we wake up from this sleepiness because we are aware that Lesotho is not economically independent but just politically independent,” he added.
He said there are some people who are happy to be close to the Chinese now because they are benefiting from the relationship.
“They would come talking different speeches but we have to hold it tight from now and say Mosotho and Lesotho first,” Mochoboroane said.

He said the Thaba-Bosiu wool centre is a clear example of the “Chinalisation” of Lesotho because it is meant to enrich the Chinese while Basotho are left stranded.
He said once his party assumes power, he would make sure that Basotho regain control of their natural resources.
“We are going to show independence and leave a legacy in Lesotho,” Mochoboroane said.

He said former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili used to say “we better misgovern ourselves than being governed by others”.
He said that should change and they must govern themselves well than to misgovern themselves.
The Minister of Small Businesses Chalane Phori said the MEC leader is advocating for a company that operated illegally in the country.
He said the BKB was only registered in Lesotho in May this year.

Phori said Mochoboroane should also know he is not in government and should therefore accept to be governed.
He said Mochoboroane was once the Minister of Small Businesses.
“What did he do because he was just sweet-talking the people during his tenure as the minister,” Phori added.

Nkheli Liphoto

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