UPDATED LESOTHO NEWS
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LESOTHO NEWS - UPDATED 3. AUGUST 2015:



Snow report for Lesotho
The cold front has arrived in the SWC already. The first snow should fall this afternoon over the high peaks of the western mountain rages, and by lunch time tomorrow, will continue falling over the western ranges, whilst moving eastwards where snow can also be expected on the eastern ranges in the WC. By evening tomorrow (Thursday), snow is likely to still be falling over most of the WC ranges, into the NC and into the EC. By the early hours of Friday morning, we are expecting to see snow right into the EC high ground and into the EC Drakensberg, and Southern Lesotho.
Snow Report - 29. July 2015
See Snow Sightings Eastern Cape & Lesotho – 31 July 2015 - Click HERE.

Govt. subsidises summer cropping
The Lesotho government has resolved to subsidise farmers to ensure food security through improved 2015/16 summer production, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has said. The initiative on the intensive crop production will see farmers and government sharing expenses, on a 50 percent basis, for costs on ploughing, planting and insecticide spraying, among other services. The benefit, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Food security ‘Mapalesa Mothokho, will be reaped by others, other than block farmers as they are already benefiting from buying agricultural items such as seeds and fertilisers at reduced costs.
PUBLIC EYE News, 1. August 2015 - read more HERE.

Lesotho host Energy Sector Coordination Forum
Lesotho has launched an Energy Sector Coordination Forum that will function as a consultative body to enable the exchange of information related to energy among key stakeholders. Speaking at the forum, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology Emmanuel Lesoma said the Lesotho Electricity Corporation (LEC) and Water have to be transformed to improve the service delivery.
Director of energy Thabang Phure said the main objective of the forum is to improve coordination in energy planning to enhance utilisation of limited resources. Phure said the mandate of the forum would be to facilitate the establishment of an efficient planning tool or mechanism taking into consideration energy requirements of all sectors of the economy. The forum would also promote energy data and information collection, compilation and sharing.
Informative News, 28. July 2015 - Full story HERE.

Unique initiative brings hope to communities
World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director Mary Njoroge has urged Basotho to “seriously consider doing things differently” for their survival because of the country’s “perpetual food insecurity”. Ms Njoroge made this remark during a field visit to Mohale’s Hoek district on Monday this week led by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Kimetso Mathaba. WFP—the food assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security—has partnered charity organisation World Vision and government in implementing resilience-building activities to mitigate food shortages in Siloe Community Council in the district as a way of assisting communities improve their livelihoods.
According to Ms Njoroge, 57 percent of Basotho are “chronically food insecure”. Ms Njoroge further indicated that according to the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee results released last month, 463 936 Basotho are in need of food support compared to 447 760 who required assistance during the 2013/14 farming season.
Lesotho Times, 9. July 2015 - full story HERE

Lesotho Queen and UNFPA present blankets to elderly people      
Lesotho Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Thursday presented blankets to more than 300 elderly people of Mokhotlong, the country’s coldest district. The queen said elderly people should always be protected against coldness as they are the most important people in all societies. She said the elderly were facing great challenges in their respective communities such as rape, abuse, murder and most often are labelled witches and often targeted for elimination.
Africabusinesscommunities.com, 12. June 2015, Full story HERE
 

Govt processing Mothae sale to Paragon’
The government of Lesotho is processing the $8.5-million (about M92.42 million) disposal of Mothae Diamond Mine by Lucara Diamonds to Paragon Diamonds. This was said by Lucara Paul Day during the Botswana Resource Sector Conference in Gaborone. Situated on the southern edge of the Kaapvaal Craton, which hosts the diamondiferous northern Lesotho kimberlite field, Mothae Diamond Mine is joint venture between the Canadian-listed Lucara Diamond Corporation and the government of Lesotho. Next to Gem Diamonds’ mine, Mothae Diamond Mine has an indicated resource of one million carats and an inferred resource valuation of $1 billion.
Lesotho Times, 11. June 2015 June - Full story
HERE .

Africa creates TFTA - Cape to Cairo free-trade zone
African leaders have agreed to create the continent's largest free-trade zone, covering 26 countries in an area from Cape Town to Cairo. The deal, signed in Egypt, is intended to ease the movement of goods across member countries which represent more than half the continent's GDP. Since the end of colonial rule, governments have been discussing ways to boost intra-African trade. The poor state of roads, railways and airlines have made it difficult. Three existing trade blocs - the Southern African Development Community (Sadc); the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) - are to be united into a single new zone. The pact - known as The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) - will then be officially unveiled at the upcoming summit of the African Union this weekend in South Africa. BBC Africa Business Report's Lerato Mbele says the idea behind it is to remove trade barriers on most goods, making them cheaper, and stimulating $1tn (£648bn) worth of economic activity across the region of more than 600 million people. However, concluding the deal in Egypt will merely be the first step and it will need to be approved by each country's parliament, before the wheels are set in motion, she says. It is hoped that this will happen by 2017.
BBC NEWS, 10. June 2015 - Full story HERE

Likuena to play their first match
The Basotho pride Likuena-Lesotho National Football Senior Squad will lock horns with the national team of Ethiopia in the first leg of match of the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) Preliminary Round that will be played in Addis Ababa. The match will be played on the 14th June 2015 at Addis Ababa National Stadium and Likuena will leave the country on the 11th June 2015. Likuena will be playing against Ethiopia for the first time in more than 20 years.
Informative News, 9. June 2015 - full story HERE
Follow updates about the Likuena - HERE

PRESS RELEASE
The Right Honourable the Prime Minister Dr Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili will lead Lesotho’s delegation to the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which will be held in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa from 14 to 15 June, 2015. The Assembly will be preceded by the 27th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union and the 30th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee and Senior Government Officials Meeting from 10 to 12 June, 2015 and from 7 to 8 June, 2015, respectively. The Ordinary Sessions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union are Statutory Meetings of the African Union, held twice a year, in January and in June/July.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MASERU
MFA, 8. June 2015        

Education: More quality needed
THE arrival of Botho University (BU) on the academic scene, as reported in this edition, is a welcome development that will be lauded by all and sundry. It offers another local alternative to Basotho who have tended to look abroad for quality education. However, as rightly stated by BU Head of Business Development and International Relations ’Mankhole Masisi-Thakhisi, the emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity. Lesotho already has its fair share of fly-by-night tertiary institutions, and, with its pedigree and track record, BU’s entry goes a long way in stemming this trend.
Sunday Express, 7. June 2015 - Full story HERE


Maseru Education Office presents awards to students
In an effort to honour excellence, the Maseru District Education Office awarded trophies and certificates to 169 students who performed well in 2014 examination results at the ceremony held in Maseru on Friday.
LENA, 10. April 2015,
www.lena.gov.ls      

Lesotho to host 2015 COSSASA Games
Lesotho will host this year’s edition of the Confederation of Schools Sports Association of Southern Africa (COSSASA) Athletics championships scheduled for May 1-2. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and hosts, Lesotho, will battle it out in this annual schools athletics show. Representatives from the six visiting southern African countries are expected to arrive in the country on April 30. This will be the first time Lesotho hosts the prestigious games since their inception in 2000. Both the Lesotho Institution of Secondary Schools (LISA) and the Lesotho Primary Schools Sports Association (LEPSSA) will facilitate the championships.
Public Eye, 9. April 2015. Full story HERE


Basotho women to adopt CAADP
Emerging women farmers are enthusiastic to adopt the Comprehensive Advanced Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) principles following a series of consultations by relevant stakeholders in the food security fraternity, Informative has learnt. ‘Malebohang Sekhesa, a farmer keen on the adoption of agri-business on small scale farming due to limited agricultural inputs, said there has been a lot said about CAADP since Lesotho signed its Compact in 2013. Lesotho sets to celebrate women’s day. “We have heard of the Malabo Declaration under CAADP which seeks to ensure that women should contribute towards food security in their respective countries,” Sekhesa said. She said since she does not have any formal qualifications and consequently does not have any professional work to do, she has to navigate ways of getting something to feed her family from her farming activity. “In rural areas, we have to interact with nature to be able to put bread on our tables. Agriculture is the source of living for almost every family in rural areas,” said Sekhesa. The Malabo Declaration itemizes seven (7) specific goals and targets for the 2015-2025. These include recommitment on the 10% annual public budget support to agriculture and the 6% annual agriculture productivity growth rate.
Informative News, 7. April 2015 - full story HERE.

CAN 2017: Algeria and Lesotho in Group J
Algeria is to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN 2017) qualifiers in Group J, which also includes the football national teams of Lesotho, Ethiopia and Seychelles. The continental tournament will be hosted by Gabon, as a result of a draw held Wednesday on the sidelines of an ordinary meeting held by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Cairo, Egypt. Algeria was one of three candidates applying for the hosting of the CAN 2017. The two others were Ghana and Gabon. The qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations 2017 will start next June.
AllAfrica.com, 8. April 2015 - read article HERE.
 
The first match for the "Likuena" will be in Addis Ababa in June 2015, Ethiopia vs Lesotho.  More about Lesotho's Likuena and AFCON 2017 - HERE.


Fuel price hike looms in Lesotho
LAST night’s fuel price increase in South Africa is set to have a knock-on effect on Lesotho with the Petroleum Fund Lesotho mulling an increase in the price of the commodity soon. South Africa increased petrol by R1.62 per litre in Gauteng and R1.60 on the coast, diesel by between R1.20, on the coast, and R1.24, in Gauteng. The price of illuminating paraffin increased by 26c per litre while the Liquefied Petroleum Gas increased by 85c per kilogramme across the country. The South African Department of Energy attributed this week’s petrol price increase to higher international prices for oil and the weakening of the rand against the US dollar. The April increase marks the second consecutive petrol price rise due to a higher oil price and a weaker rand. Meanwhile Lesotho Petroleum Fund Financial Accountant Bohloko Lepamo confirmed the fuel price was likely to rise following the increases in South Africa. Ms Lepamo said the board would soon finalise the new price after a meeting to be held next week.
Lesotho Times, 2. April 2015. Full story HERE.

Electricity prices go up
The Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA) approved the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC)’s proposal for a hike of electricity prices which increase will be accordingly effected tomorrow. According to a press statement from LEWA released last week, the authority had received a tariff Review Application from LEC requesting an annual tariff increase of 18.32 percent on both energy and maximum demand charges in order for the company to generate revenue of M763 479 924. As a result, LEWA revealed that the approved requirement for LEC, inclusive of levies to the Authority will be 5.6% for domestic workers, 5.7% for street lighting; 5.6% for general purpose (small businesses); 7.0% for energy charges, high voltage and industrial/commercial customers; 6.9% for energy charges, low voltage /commercial customers and lastly 5.4% for maximum demand charges for both high and low voltages Industrials/commercial customers. “This effectively means, for example, that with M20.00, including VAT, domestic customers currently buy 16.42 units. With the approved tariffs they will get 15.55 units for the same amount” LEWA stated. Meanwhile, LEC Managing Director Mbele Hoohlo concluded that for now they will keep on importing power from ESKOM and ADM of Mozambique until they have enough to generate theirs.
Informative News, 31. March 2015 - full story HERE.


The Cabinet is sworn in      
Maseru, 31. March 2015: His Majesty King Letsie III, acting with the advice of the Prime Minister The Right Honourable Dr. Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili, appointed Lesotho's 9th Cabinet at the Royal Palace yesterday. The new Cabinet Members come from all the seven political parties which formed a coalition government following the 28 February 2015 general elections. Prime Minister is The Right Honourable Dr. Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili, and Hon. Mothetjoa Metsing is the Deputy Prime Minister. Among the Government's other new ministers are: Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations - Hon. Tlohang Sekhamane, Minister of Home Affairs - Hon. Adv. Lekhetho Rakuoane, Minister of Finance - Hon. Dr. 'Mamphono Khaketla, Minister of Defence and National Security - Hon. Tšeliso Mokhosi, Minister of Energy - Hon. Selibe Mochoboroane, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture - Hon. Likeleli Tampane, Minster of Health - Hon. Dr. 'Molotsi Monyamane, and Minister of Trade and Industry - Hon. Joshua Setipa.
Read the official report from the event HERE. 
See the complete list of the new Cabinet HERE.


Dr. Mosisili takes oath as prime minister
Maseru, 17. March 2015: The Leader of the Democratic Congress (DC), Dr Pakalitha Mosisili on Tuesday took oath as the Prime Minister of Lesotho at the inauguration ceremony held at Setsoto Stadium following the 2015 general elections. Speaking at this occasion, Dr Mosisili noted that being a Prime Minister is a huge responsibility and that he is aware of the challenges that come with it as well as the expectations of Basotho therefore pledging his commitment to lead and serve the nation without fear but with transparency. He said in 2012, the reigns of government were handed over peacefully to the first model of governance in Lesotho thus Coalition Government, saying the smooth and peaceful transition of administration is always required in a democratic country.
Read the hole statement published by Lesotho government HERE.


Photos from the Inauguration of the Lesotho PM
Maseru: Dr Mosisili being sworn in by Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara as Prime Minister of Lesotho. Dr Mosisili was bestowed with the premiership for the second time.
Photo News, March 17, 2015 - Click HERE.

       
SABC NEWS - Mosisili's inauguration
TV report on YouTube - see HERE.


Lesotho's New Parliament to Sit for First Time
Lesotho's King Letsie III has summoned the newly elected Parliament to a special meeting on Tuesday which will signal the start of processes to install the new government following the country's elections held on 28 February. When the final results were announced last week, former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of the Democratic Congress signed an agreement to enter into a coalition with Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing's Lesotho Congress for Democracy and five other parties. The wheels are now in motion to install that new coalition into government. A Special Notice has been issued calling all 120 members of the National Assembly to attend Tuesday's session when they will be sworn in.
AllAfrica.com, 10. March 2015 - Read full story HERE.


UN applauds Basotho for peaceful elections    
The United Nations-Secretary General has congratulated Basotho for upholding a peaceful atmosphere during the February 28 Parliamentary elections. In a press statement from the UN states, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon commends on the work of the Independent Electoral commission (IEC) in preparing for the election, as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which led efforts to peacefully resolve political challenges in Lesotho. The statement reads the successful completion of the process as an important step in Lesotho's return to political normalcy.
LENA, 6. March 2015 - read more HERE.



      Lesotho Election - Saturday 28. February 2015
            Independent Electoral Commission 
http://www.iec.org.ls/
      Lesotho has adopted the Mixed Member Proportional Representation model (MMP). The country’s 120 seats are allocated along an 80:40 ratio between the FPTP and the PR components of the MMP. Eighty (80) seats will be allocated based on constituency votes. One candidate will be elected in each constituency. Forty seats will be allocated to reflect the share of the national vote. The list of 23 Political Parties contesting for 40 seats based on the Proportional Representation.
Read more about the election on IEC website.

Live Blog: Lesotho Election Results
Lesotho Times, 1. March 2015 - HERE.


Basotho determined to vote
Not withstanding rainy weather and electors’ register related problems, Basotho have stuck to their guns, remaining on queues to cast their votes. Within two constituencies, being Qoaling 34 and Lithoteng 35 that were covered from morning to midday, scores of voters remained at their voting centres, Seleso Primary School and Trinity to elect their preferred government. In Qoaling Constituency that has five voting centres and thirty-five voting stations, Public Eye visited Trinity (four votingstations) in which 699 of 2200 registered voters had casted their votes at noon. There are 14 political parties vying for power in this constituency. In an interview with Public Eye, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) official, Ms Moipone Sooro acknowledged the smoothness of voting in Qoaling although she lamented were faced with a challenge of having to dislocate Trinity centre.
Public Eye News, 1. March 2015 - ful story HERE.

Results trickle in after Lesotho election
Maseru - Vote results were trickling in on Sunday in Lesotho after a snap election held to resolve a political crisis triggered by an alleged coup bid last year. Saturday's parliamentary poll, which was called two years ahead of schedule, passed without incident according to observers. "In Lesotho, we don't count the votes electronically, we count them manually," said IEC official Rethabile Pholo.
news24.com, 1. March 2015 - full story HERE
   

Election Results Expected Soon in Lesotho
Lesotho's early elections went smoothly on Saturday and it is hoped results will be declared on Sunday, news agencies report. The Lesotho News Agency (LENA) said soon after polls closed on Saturday that counting had begun in various constituencies around the capital, Maseru. Despite the late opening of some polling stations, isolated issues with ballot papers and disruption of voting by rain in at least one area, Public Eye Online reported election commission head Justice Mahapela Lehohla as saying that voting proceeded peacefully.
allAfrica.com, 1. March 2015 - full story HERE
  

Heavy police presence
Troubled southern African mountain nation Lesotho's plan to hold a snap election at the end of the month was approved on Friday by key regional authorities who will deploy hundreds of police to oversee the ballot. Six months after a failed army coup against Prime Minister Tom Thabane, observers from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Okayed the early election which will be held with 475 police officers from around the region keeping the peace.
news24, 21. February 2015 - full story HERE.

Advance voters kick-start poll
A total of 3549 advance voters are expected to cast their ballot on Saturday, kick-starting the much-anticipated election of the country’s new government. The early vote seeks to cater for embassy staff abroad, state security personnel, medical practitioners, journalists and election observers, who would be on duty when the rest of the nation goes to the poll on the 28th of February.
Lesotho Times, 19. February 2015- full story HERE

SADC election observers begin work in Lesotho
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Election Observer Mission has reportedly started its work in Lesotho ahead of the 28 February elections. According to an SABC report, at least 74 observers had already deployed in the country's 10 election districts, observing among other things, freedom of association, political tolerance and equal access to state media. South Africa's international relations minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane who is heading the mission congratulated the Basotho for choosing a peaceful route to their political challenges.
news24 19. february 2015 - full story HERE.


Ramaphosa happy with Lesotho readiness
Ramaphosa was happy with preparations ahead of Lesotho's elections scheduled for 28 February, his spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said on his return to South Africa on Saturday. Earlier in February President Jacob Zuma hosted a delegation from the coalition government led by Thabane, in Zuma's capacity as chair of the SADC troika organ on politics, defence and security co-operation.
news24 15. February 2015 - full story HERE.


Chairman of AU commended SADC
- We commend the Southern African Development Community for the expeditious and successful manner in which it handled the recent disturbances in the Kingdom of Lesotho, said the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Chairman of Sadc and elected Chairman of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Cde R. G. Mugabe.
The 24th Session of the Summit of the African Union has concluded in Addis Ababa today 31st January 2015, with a closing remarks from the newly elected Chairperson of the African Union, H.E Robert Mugabe who is also the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The AU Chairperson Expressed satisfaction to the adoption of the AU Agenda 2063 framework, “we have rededicated ourselves to the Pan-African ideals of our founding fathers for the Africa we want”. He said. President Mugabe called on the AU Members States to implement all the decisions adopted during the summit “as that is the only way for African states will leverage their resources for the benefits of their people”, Underlined President. Mugabe. He added that women and youth are the greatest asset for Africa. Hence the theme of this year’s summit: “women empowerment and development towards agenda 2063”.
African Union, 31. January 2015 - Full speech HERE.


Mosotho elected in AU Committee
Ntate Sefako Aaron Seema of Lesotho was elected as members of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption. This was carried out in the 26th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council elected, on 28th of January 2015, at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
African Union, 28. January 2015 Website HERE.


Lesotho seeks bids to develop Polihali Dam
The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority invites proposals to implement several portions of Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), including construction of Polihali Dam and a water transfer tunnel. Responses to several solicitations are due in February and March.
HydroWorld, 29. January 2015 - Read more at HydroWorld.com


LCA to prepare broadcasters for elections
As part of preparations for Lesotho's upcoming general election to be held on February 28, 2015, the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) will on February 03, 2015 hold a one-day workshop on compliance and broadcasting in Lesotho.
LENA, 31. january 2015 - Here 


Mosito sworn in as Appeal Court president
Kananelo Mosito was sworn-in  on Tuesday this week as the new President of the Court of Appeal, succeeding Justice Michael Ramodibedi who resigned under pressure last year. Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara administered the oath at the Royal Palace in the presence of King Letsie III and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. The swearing-in ceremony was also witnessed by the Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation Thesele ‘Maseribane, Law, Human Rights and Constitutional Affairs Minister  Haae Phoofolo, Development Planning Minister Moeketsi Majoro, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Motlohi Maliehe, Public Service Minister Motloheloa Phooko and Foreign Affairs and International Affairs Minister Mohlabi Tsekoa. Lesotho’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kelebone Maope was also among the dignitaries who witnessed the swearing in of the second Mosotho to head Lesotho’s apex court.
Lesotho Times, 29. January 2015 - full story HERE.


Opera expands Africa ad business
Opera Mediaworks, the Norwegian browser maker’s US-based advertising subsidiary, has acquired South African mobile ad network AdVine. The buyout gives Opera Mediaworks a partner which has been selling Opera’s own mobile-ad inventory, as well as inventory it manages on behalf of third parties, such as mobile network operators, in Africa. It’s an important market as many consumers on the continent access the internet directly through mobile, echewing the desktops so many in Europe and the US rely on and earning it the name ‘mobile-first Africa’. According to Opera, its Mediaworks unit served ads for 17,500 apps and websites in the third quarter of this year, up from 14,000 a year earlier, while the total ad impressions managed by the subsidiary grew to over 187.5 billion, up nine percent from the same quarter a year ago.
Lesotho Times, 4. Dec. 2014 - Full story here.


Lesotho not ready for elections 
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairman, Justice Mahapela Lehohla, has made an explosive disclosure that his electoral body is not ready to deliver a credible and legitimate general election next month. This, the former chief justice says, is because of the poor state of Lesotho’s voters roll which requires expert verification as well as lack of funding required to bankroll a legitimate poll. The theft of the IEC’s computers, containing critical information, would also inhibit the IEC’s ability to deliver a credible election, the IEC boss says. In fact, in a highly charged tone, Justice Lehohla says if the lack of resources for the IEC continues, the snap general elections due on 28 February 2015, will be “at best highly imperfect or at worst as good as non-existent.” Justice Lehohla’s shocking revelations, only a few weeks before Lesotho goes to the polls, are contained in a series of letters between him and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane as well as Law and Constitutional Affairs Minister Haae Phoofolo.  The issues raised by Justice Lehohla inevitably ring the alarm bells as Lesotho cannot afford to convene an illegitimate election whose outcome will likely breed more squabbles among its ever feuding politicians. 
Lesotho Times, 8. January 2015 - See full story HERE. 

Pioneer mall profile continues to grow
Over 700 000 people have visited Pioneer Mall in December alone, up from the 500 000 who came to the upmarket centre last month. According to Pioneer Mall General Manager Thato Pekeche, the influx is largely the result of increased shopping as the Christmas and New Year’s holidays draw close, and also the variety of goods and excellent services offered by different entities at the complex. Ms Pekeche emphasised while the high quality of goods sold at the mall continued to draw customers, the opening of Maseru Mall had helped draw more customers from all over the country and also South Africa.
Lesotho Times, 25. December 2014 - Full story HERE

Prince Harry took photos in Lesotho
Prince Harry visits (5. December 2014) Lesotho where he helped to set up the charity Sentebale ‘Touching Tiny Lives’ which provides healthcare and education to vulnerable children in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, southern Africa. The particular theme of his visit was to check on the progress of the Mamohato children’s centre which will provide vital support to children affected by HIV. Harry photographed parts of his visit himself: ‘I have always enjoyed photography and the challenges that come with trying to capture the perfect shot, although privately I don’t take many photos. The best photos I have are in my head, I have some very special memories, mostly from Africa. But on this visit, I had the time and opportunity to be on the other side of the camera and take some photos in the stunning country of Lesotho for my charity Sentebale’. On a picture by Chris Jackson, the prince shows children a photograph he has taken on a camera during a visit to a herd boy night school constructed by Sentebale in Mokhotlong.
The Guardian, 19. December 2014 -  Full story 
HERE .
See the photo gallery with Pince Harry - HERE.


Vodacom Foundation launches i-school programme
The Vodacom Foundation, a corporate social responsibility arm of telecommunications company Vodacom Lesotho, partnered with the Government of Lesotho and i-School in Zambia to pilot a tablets programme wherein primary school pupils will be able to utilize a portable computer tablet containing the Primary School Curriculum for their learning. Mpho Brown, Manager Vodacom Foundation indicated that the programme will help familiarize Lesotho pupils with and give them necessary skills on Information Communication Technology from an early stage.
Informative News, 16. December 2014 - Full story HERE.


The King visits Italy
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho, who is here in Rome to attend the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place this week. King Letsie III is the Champion of Nutrition for the African Union (AU), and represents the 54 heads of State who are members of the AU. The ICN2 is an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The two main outcome documents of the conference are the Rome Declaration on Nutrition: a political commitment document, and the Framework for Action: a technical guide for implementation.
FAO, Rome Italy, 19 November 2014 - See more HERE.

IEC reports on readiness for upcoming elections
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says peparations for the holding of general elections in 2015 are at an advanced stage. This was revealed at a media briefing held in Maseru yesterday by commissioners of the elections-managing body. He added by saying National Assembly Elections will be held towards end of February, Parliament will be dissolved beginning of December 2014 to prepare for holding of the National Assembly Elections and also business of parliament between opening and dissolution will be limited to passing of Election budget and dealing with election related matters. Lastly he said it is on the basis of the above scenario that the IEC has started to prepare for the conduct of early general elections towards the end of February 2015 and recruitment and training of temporary staff has been effected as one of the major activities done up to now. He said intensification of registration is in progress. The tentative date for the polls will be duly announced by His Majesty King Letsie III next month.
Informative News, 18 November 2014 - Full story HERE.

8th Parliament reopens
Parliament reopened today, 17 October, as expected, following its nine-month suspension on 10 June this year by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. King Letsie III gave the keynote address, urging the politicians to put the nation’s interests ahead of personal agendas. South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, attended the reopening.
Lesotho Times, 17 October 2014. See more HERE.

Opening of the Parliament, October 17, 2014
Ceremony speach by His Majesty King Letsie III. 
See full video from SABC News on Youtube - click HERE.

Lesotho to hold early elections
Lesotho's national general election has been brought forward two years to 2015, South African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.
"His majesty King Letsie the Third will reconvene parliament on the 17th of October 2014," Ramaphosa told reporters in Maseru.
"The sitting of the parliament will be limited to passing of a budget and to do all other related matters regarding the holding of early elections.
"National general elections will be held towards the end of February 2015 and on a date that will be determined by His majesty the King."
ANN7.com 2. October 2014 - See story HERE

... According to Deputy President Ramaphosa, parliament will be dissolved in December 2014 to prepare for the elections.
AllAfrica.com - See story HERE

TV programme - eNCA - about this news, with comments by reporter Mark Klusener in Maseru:
http://www.enca.com/lesotho-hold-elections-february-2015



Saturday 6. Sept.: 'Likuena' plays football match today against Burkina Faso - see more about Lesotho National Team, Group Play - Africa Cup of Nations  - click HERE.


Update about the political situation in Lesotho - links to news stories:

6. Sept: SABC NEWS: Lesotho opposition parties say they are reluctant to deliver a petition to Prime Minister Tom Thabane because of his South African security.  They say they are worried about causing a diplomatic incident. The opposition parties want to petition Thabane about his failure to set a date for the re-opening of Parliament.
Full story here.

6. Sept - ShanghaiDaily: Lesotho's King Letsie III on Friday met with leaders of the coalition government to pave way for re-opening Parliament. The meeting was in line with an agreement endorsed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which mediated a political solution to a military coup which sent Prime Minister Thomas Thabane into hiding in South Africa last Saturday. Thabane, who returned home on Monday, pledged on Thursday to re- open parliament on September 19. A meeting with King Letsie III was a prerequisite for re- opening parliament. The SADC set September 5 as the deadline for coalition leaders in Lesotho to meet King Letsie III.
Full story here. 

5. sept. - allAfrica.com: Challenges Ahead for SADC's Mediation in Lesotho. 
Full story HERE.

4. Sept. - Lesotho Times: Thabane to dissolve parliament after SADC brokers deal to reopen it on 19 September. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane returned home late morning yesterday under heavy South African guard after surviving last Friday’s attempted coup led by Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander Tlali Kamoli. Dr Thabane and his coalition government partners were due to begin implementing a SADC-brokered agreement that compels the PM to re-open Parliament on 19 September 2014 and  face a possible no-confidence vote.  Full story here.

4. Sept. SABC NEWS: Crisis eyewitness stories.
- A soldier came to our house asking if we sold alcohol. It was dark, after 8 o'clock. I was on my mother's back she was carrying me. We were outside and she spoke to the soldier across the wall in front of our house. She was already in her nightdress because we were getting ready for bed. When my mother turned to go inside he started firing. One of the bullets hit me. There were bubbles and blood on my left leg. I was crying hysterically. 
Full story HERE.

3. Sept. - BBC NEWS AFRICA: Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has returned home after fleeing the mountain kingdom to neighbouring South Africa on Saturday. At the time he said the military had staged a coup - a charge it denied. Regional leaders rejected his call for troops to be deployed to restore order. The unrest is thought to be linked to a struggle between Mr Thabane, reportedly supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, said to have the loyalty of the army.  Full story HERE.



Lesotho pays heavy price for instability
Lesotho failed to secure the highly anticipated Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation chairmanship on Sunday due to the country’s political instability and bad blood between the army and police. According to Sports Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane, the on-going bickering between the leadership of the three ruling parties and power-struggle between the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and Lesotho Mounted Police (LMPS) had resulted in SADC members doubting the country’s capacity to lead such a crucial structure. Speaking from Zimbabwe’s resort town of Victoria Falls on Monday this week on the final day of the 34th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government, Chief ‘Maseribane said a preliminary meeting by a council of ministers had concluded that the political and security situation in Lesotho rendered the country “incapable of managing the Organ”. It was after this meeting that South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma was elected to chair the Organ until the next SADC summit is held in Botswana in August 2015, with Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane deputising and Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba completing the Troika, he added.
Lesotho Times, 21 August 2014 - See more here.


EU launches Lesotho roadmap
The LCN representative, Mamathule Makhotla, on her part, said as the umbrella of Lesotho’s civil society, his organization appreciated the  EU initiative. THE European Union (EU) yesterday launched a roadmap for engagement with Lesotho’s civil society for the period 2014 to 2017. The blueprint seeks to promote civil society activity in Lesotho within the framework of democratic governance during the period in question, and also “facilitate and enhance its role in the broadest possible sense”. Speaking at the launch, the Head of Delegation of the EU to Lesotho, Ambassador Hans Duynhouwer said the overall objective of the roadmap is to make life better for Basotho, through the enhancement of the country’s civil society.
Lesotho Times, 15 August 2014 - Full story here.


Letšeng recovers 198-carat Diamond
Letšeng Diamonds has recovered an exceptional white, high quality 198-carat diamond, according to a statement released by the majority shareholder of the mine, Gem Diamonds. The announcement, which was made through their website on Tuesday this week, comes shortly after the mine announced its financial and productive performance in the first half of the year.
“Gem Diamonds Limited is pleased to announce the recovery of a 198 carat, white type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine at the end of July 2014. This exceptional white, high quality diamond displays no florescence and is expected to achieve an exceptional price when sold this year,” the statement reads in part.
Public Eye, 11 August 2014 - Read more here.

Decleration from the Coalition Government
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Lesotho, has publish a decleration on their facebook website, 4. August 2014, about the political situation:
"We, the Leaders of the Coalition Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, meeting in Windhoek, Namibia on 30 July 2014, at the invitation of H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, in his capacity as Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and, following the consultations held with us, individually and collectively, in the presence of the Executive Secretary of SADC, reaffirm our resolve to work together to ensure the success of the first ever coalition government in the Kingdom of Lesotho. We, the Leaders of the Coalition Government, recognize our responsibility to the people of Lesotho, to respect the Constitution, uphold democratic principles and maintain peace and political stability in the Kingdom of Lesotho."
The decleration is signed by Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister, Honourable Mothetjoa Metsing, Deputy Prime Minister and Honourable Joang Molapo, Minister of Home Affairs.
Read the hole decleration on:
www.facebook.com/mofairlesotho (MOFAIR Lesotho)


Their Majesties visits the Republic of Korea
In a press release from MOFAIR, it is announced that Majesties King Letsie III and Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso will, at the invitation of the Africa Chair for the Universal Peace Federation, attend the 2nd World Summit of the Universal Peace Federation to be held in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 9-13 August 2014 (LINK HERE). The objective of the Summit is to provide world leaders with an opportunity to share thoughts and inspiration with the Assembly on the theme: “Peace, Security and Human Development”. While in the Republic of Korea, His Majesty King Letsie III will receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree conferred to him by the Sun Moon University in recognition of his great contribution to the cause of world peace. His Majesty will also meet with Korean officials from the Saemaul “New Village” development project, which is globally renowned for its achievement in advancing the Korean economy. Their Majesties will be accompanied by The Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Mr Mohlabi K Tsekoa, the Principal Chief of Likhoele, Chief Lerotholi Seeiso, The Senior Private Secretary to His Majesty, and other senior government officials.
Source: MOFAIR on Facebook, 1. August 2014.


President Zuma in Lesotho to break political impasse
SABC Digital News (Youtube), published 29. July 2014: 
South African and Lesotho governments have expressed optimism that president Jacob Zuma's intervention to try and put an end to the challenges faced by the Kingdom will bear fruit.  
See the TV clip on
YOUTUBE HERE .


News about the political situation in Lesotho, July:

- SABC (RSA), 30. July: Zuma convinces Lesotho parties to agree to facilitation. President Jacob Zuma has persuaded Lesotho's warring parties to agree to a facilitated process to solve the political crisis gripping the mountain kingdom. He has met with the leaders of three parties that form the governing coalition. - Full story HERE.
- SABC (RSA), 29. July: President Zuma in Lesotho to break political impasse. Pressure is mounting on Lesotho's leaders to resolve the political crisis gripping the country.  President Jacob Zuma will be in the mountain kingdom on Tuesday to try and break the impasse amongst parties in the governing coalition. The crisis has seen parliament suspended last month for nine months by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. There are high hopes that Zuma will succeed in his mission as much is at stake. - Full story HERE
- LENA - Lesotho News Agency, 29. July : President Zuma arrives in Lesotho, Maseru: The South African President Jacob Zuma paid a courtesy call to King Letsie III on Tuesday in Matsieng. On arrival at Moshoeshoe 1 International Airport this morning, he was welcomed by the Prime Minister Dr. Thomas Thabane. - Source: www.lena.gov.ls
- Informative News, 29. July: QUTHING- Scores of Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) supporters flocked at Sebapala Constituency on Sunday to attend a political rally despite an extremely chilly weather. Addressing LCD followers who had turned up for the rally from hard to reach areas of the district, the leader of LCD Mothetjoa Metsing said following an abrupt prorogation of Parliament, the three parties forming the coalition government have now entered into  continuous negotiations. “We hope the negotiations will help us to have a stable government that is governed by democratic principles,” he said. - Full story HERE.
- Lesotho Times, 24. July: The coalition government began its latest round of peace-talks on a bitter note this week after the three ruling parties — the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD — could not agree on a number of issues, top among the current nine-month suspension of parliament. - Full story HERE.
- Public Eye, 4. July: Prime Minister vows to fight public purse looting. All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader and Prime Minister Dr Motsoahae Thomas Thabane has reiterated his resolve to fight corruption, even to the detriment of stability within the coalition government. Thabane said this at an ABC rally last Sunday at the Stadium Area constituency in Maseru. He stressed that although he yearned for stability and trust between the coalition partners, the ABC, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the Basotho National Party (BNP), his top priority was fighting corruption. - Full story HERE.

Quality Policy validated
MASERU- Department of Standards and Quality Assurance in the Ministry and Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing validated the national Quality policy on Thursday last week. Martin Kellermann, who is a Consultant in Standards and Quality Assurance indicated that Lesotho wished to enhance its trade within as well as in the region and internationally hence the need for products that match international quality standards.
Informative news, 29. July 2014 - See more HERE

Lesotho to miss development goals
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane yesterday said it was disturbing that Lesotho would not meet some of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are eight international development goals established following the 2000 United Nations (UN) Millennium Summit held in New York, which each member country is supposed to have achieved by 2015.
Lesotho Times, 24. july 2014 - See more HERE

DPM urges Maseru community to practise cleanliness
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) who is also the Minister of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs Mothejoa Metsing says Maseru is the city of Lesotho where foreigners and inventors first approach it when they visit the country. Metsing indicated that ensuring hygienic environment wherever people live and changing it to be a culture would create a climate and environment for investors’ attraction as nobody likes to live in a filthy environment.
Informative news - 20 May 2014

Maseru Bridge introduces new border controls
The Ministry of Home Affairs’ Department of Immigration Services is tomorrow migrating its border controls to the automated biometric system at the Maseru Bridge Border Post.  The Department of Immigration Services’ Acting Director Malerato Molefi yesterday told the Lesotho Times the transformation from manual operations to the high-tech electronic border management systems at the Maseru Bridge comes after the system was first introduced at the Makahaleng Border Post in Mohale’s Hoek and Moshoeshoe I International Airport.  Ms Molefi said passports would, beginning tomorrow, be scanned by computers while in the past, the department used to check whether passports matched people’s facial appearance with the naked eye.
“We are going to be registering people’s fingerprints and photographs taken when entering the border gates as their passports would be scanned,” Ms Molefi said.  “The department would begin with nine computer workstations and we will scan passports, have verification of information, allow or deny entry or departures and registration of transactions.”
Lesotho Times, 15 May 2014 - full story here

Mixed report for Lesotho economy  
Lesotho has received a mixed report from global financial agency, Fitch Ratings Inc.  In a statement released on May 2, the agency, which is dual-headquartered in New York and London, indicated that while the country enjoys good governance that encourages investment, strong dependence on the South African Customs Union (SACU) revenue and the economy’s lack of diversity, are cause for concern.  “Strong standards of governance have ensured access to donor-support. The budget and the balance of payments are exposed to the volatility of SACU revenue (42 percent of government receipts, 22 percent of current account receipts) and the economy lacks diversity.
Lesotho Times, 9 May 2014 Full story here

Prince Harry Marks 10th Anniversary of AIDS Charity 'Sentebale'
Prince Harry has attended a summer party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his charity, Sentebale. The charity works with Aids orphans and disadvantaged children in the African kingdom of Lesotho.
The Prince established Sentebale, which means 'forget me not' in the local Basotho dialect, after spending two months in the impoverished African kingdom of Lesotho during his gap year in 2004, when he saw for himself the impact of AIDS in the community. Two years later, he returned to the landlocked region to set the foundations for the organisation. His commitment to Sentebale is also in honour of his mother the Princess of Wales who was committed to the fight against AIDS. 
According to latest statistics, 23 per cent of the country's entire population – around 360,000 people - are infected with HIV. Of those, 38,000 are believed to be children. 150,000 youngsters – one in three - have been left orphans as a result of the epidemic. Lesotho now has the third highest prevalence of the disease in the world with the average life expectancy of people living there just 48.7 years.
International Business Times, 7 May 2014 - read more here

BIAT can improve continent`s economy
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing, S’khulumi Ntsoaole says that the implementation strategy of (BIAT) Boosting Intra-Africa Trade can improve the continent`s economic development strategies.
The Minister stated following his arrival from the Extraordinary Meeting of African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa last month, where he said members states were given a political direction on the way forward on issues related to Africa`s integration, mainly on BIAT and Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
The Informative News, 6 May 2014 - Full story here

Health Minister speaks on Tsepong project
The Government of Lesotho (GoL) and the South African NetCare hospital group unveiled plans to launch a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) hospital project that would replace the legendary Queen Elizabeth II (QE-II) Hospital as the main national health centre and referral hospital – intended to stem the flow of Basotho critically flowing into South Africa’s territories.
Public Eye, 2 May 2014 - read more here

Mobile communications under review
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) wants mobile operators in the region to base their roaming charges on the costs they incur for offering the service. This will effectively reduce the roaming charges that consumers from a foreign mobile operator have to pay for using a local mobile operator’s network. Sadc has noted there is a need to lower these rates. And if they have their way to reduce the charges, the new roaming regime will begin with effect from June this year.
Public Eye, 22 April 2014 - Full story here

Stands Up Against Gender Violence
As four other summit gatherings of the Gender Links 50/50 by 2015 and demanding a strong post 2015 agenda were currently ongoing, Lesotho was also in the thick of things as the Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Thesele 'Maseribane declared the summit open at the Maseru Sun Cabanas on Monday, 14 April 2014, stressing the need to uncompromisingly reject and stem out gender based violence. 
All Africa News, 15 April 2014 - Full story here

Netcare denies Tšepong blowing health budget
South Africa’s biggest private hospital group, Netcare, on Monday defended its flagship public-private partnership in Lesotho, after a damning Oxfam report said the project was costing so much more than expected that it threatened to blow the country’s health budget. Netcare holds 40% of the Tšepong consortium, which won an M800 million tender in 2007 to build, finance and run the Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital in Maseru for the Lesotho government. Netcare is setting great store by this project as it is the first African public-private partnership it has entered into in which it provides clinical services; something it has not been able to do in South Africa.
Lesotho Times, 11. April 2014 - See more here

What tax revenue shortfall means to budget
The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) last week announced it had collected and remitted M4.42 billion to the government for the 2013/14 financial year. While the remittances were the highest the Authority has ever recorded, (the previous year they recorded M3.99 billion) they however did not meet the M5.07 billion target that the government had set for LRA to collect during the year. According to economics expert Majakathata Mokoena, this shortfall of M644.8 million in revenue will affect government budget implementation.
Public Eye, 11. April 2014 - Full story here 

R17.5-billion Lesotho project set to deliver water in 2022
Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) should supply South Africa with water by 2022, said Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) divisional manager Tente Tente on Monday. A 2009 feasiblity study said the water would be available in 2020. Speaking at the Civilution conference, in Ekurhuleni, Tente said while the agreement for the second phase had been signed in 2011, it was only ratified in 2013, which finally allowed work on the project to kick off.  Tente said the delivery process for LHWP Phase 2 already had a “cramped, quite hectic” programme, with seven tenders expected out in April, seven in May and another seven in June.  Tente said the LHDA will engage the market through a series of road shows in May, where it would stipulate the “rules of engagement”.
Engineering News, 8. April 2014 - See the full story here

Lesotho 'Open for Business' At Commonwealth Forum
Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane today declared the small southern African kingdom "open for business" at an investment forum in London to raise awareness of growing economic opportunities in his country.
All Africa, 7. April 2014 - Full story HERE 

Credit Bureau in Lesotho
The Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) with the help of private sector players is at an advanced stage to implement a Credit Bureau which would be run by Compuscan.  Director of Supervision at CBL Mokotjo Mphaka said the Credit Bureau which is financed by Millennium Challenge Account-Lesotho (MCA) is aimed at facilitating the exchange of information on prospective debtors for the fast processing of access to credit.
Informative News, 2. April 2014 - Full story here  

Results from private football matches

7th of March, Lesotho - Swaziland: 0-0


Textile dominates manufacturing sector
The manufacturing sector recorded a 4.0 percent increase in performance in the third quarter of 2013 (July –September) as compared to the previous quarter. However, of all the different sub-sectors in the local manufacturing sector, the textile and clothing was the most dominant. This is according to a report on the Performance of the Manufacturing Sector in Lesotho Third Quarter 2013 released by the Bureau of Statistics.  The report says the total number of people employed in the manufacturing sector in the quarter in question was 49, 476, whereas the textile and clothing sub-sector accounted for 42,658 employees. This means the share of the textile and clothing sub-sector to the total employment in the third quarter of 2013 was estimated at 86.2 percent . The remainder of employment is shared between food and beverages, leather and footwear, and other manufacturing sub-sectors. The report further shows there was an annual increase of 8.6 percent in the number of people employed in the third quarter of 2013, as compared to the same quarter of 2012. The textile and clothing sub-sector contributed five percent of that increment. 
Public Eye, 7. March 2014 - Read full story HERE


Home Affairs receives assistance from UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative Dr. Tesfaye Shiferaw last week handed over multimedia products to the Minister of Home Affairs Joang Molapo . Dr. Shiferaw said the donation would assist in the ongoing registration processes at the Ministry of Home Affairs. He said the gesture follows a meeting on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) held in Addis Ababa in 2010 where the African ministers responsible for Civil Registration made a declaration through the African Union (AU) and their respective governments to reform and improve CRVS on the African continent. Dr. Shiferaw mentioned that the government of Lesotho has since started issuing its entire population with identification cards and thus the follow up with the equipment. He said in Lesotho, in order for one to qualify for this document every eligible applicant including children below 18 years must have birth certificates.
Informative News, 4. March 2014 - Read full story HERE


Involving Basotho in diaspora in development initiatives
Lesotho may have to dig deeper to recoup its declining remittances by relooking into policy formulation while at the same time encouraging and involving Basotho in the Diaspora to participate in the development of the country. This was a view presented at the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Migration preconference held in Maseru on Thursday last week where the Lesotho government officials, civil society and some Basotho in the diaspora participated to map the way forward and make a summary of Lesotho’s diaspora for the regional conference to be held in South Africa on a date yet to be confirmed. 
When opening the pre-conference, Minster of Home Affairs Joang Molapo said that Lesotho is going to participate at the ACP Migration conference which is going to be held in Gauteng but the date is not yet confirmed. Morena Joang further explained that the pre conference is held so as to build up some important points that Lesotho will present. In conclusion the minister reminded the stakeholders that a quarter of the population of Lesotho was economically migrant and that the country itself benefit from the remittances coming from other countries where Basotho work. 
Presenting the facts and figures on Lesotho’s migration situation and the diaspora, the regional technical expert in the SADC migration and diaspora Mr. Peter Mudungwe said that Lesotho despite the huge decline in the number of migrant mine workers in South Africa, official remittance inflows to the country have experienced steady growth over the past couple of decades. He further stated there are about 427,500 Basotho migrant living outside the country, saying this figure constitutes about 21 percent of the total population of Lesotho. In 2005, he reminded, 99.8 percent of Basotho migrants were working in SA however in recent years these numbers have declined dramatically as SA has suffered adversely from the world gold crisis experienced in 1999. 
Informative News, 3. March 2014 - Read full story HERE


Maseru water station damaged
The Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) pump-station along the Mohokare river was severely damaged on Monday this week, leaving several Maseru villages without water. According to the company’s spokesperson Lineo Moqasa, the station—which is just below Lerotholi Polytechnic—was left a broken mess when the flooded river burst its banks following torrential rains which hit Maseru for hours on end. The Lesotho Times understands WASCO is now depending on the Maqalika Station for Maseru water-supplies because another station at the Mohokare water-works, experienced similar problems last month and is yet to be repaired.
Lesotho Times, 28 February 2014 - Full story HERE
Queen's Baton Relay: 'Marathon queen' of Lesotho
Lesotho's Olympic and Commonwealth marathon runner Mamorallo Tjoka hopes her country's landscape can lead to medal success at the games in Glasgow this summer. Tjoke finished runner-up in the Edinburgh marathon in May 2012 and has won South Africa's Soweto marathon five times.
BBCNEWS, 12. February 2014 - Full story HERE


Lesotho expands HIV services to population
Durban Durban -The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation announced recently that it is expanding its HIV treatment and prevention programs in six districts in Lesotho.  Lesotho has the third highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. According to UNICEF, approximately 23 % of those aged 15 to 49 years are living with HIV. The expansion is supported by USAID and by provisions in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and includes increased access to HIV testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services, adult and pediatric HIV care, early infant HIV diagnosis, nutrition programs and tuberculosis prevention and treatment.  The foundation will work with staff at local health facilities as well as with officials from the Lesotho Ministry of Health in capacity development and improving HIV care in each of the six districts.
Healio Infectious Desease, 9 February 2014 - Read story HERE 

Seeks Barbados’ help to develop tourism 
The The African nation of Lesotho is seeking Barbados’ help in developing its tourism industry.  Lesotho High Commissioner to Barbados Dr Mathabo Tsepa recently held talks with Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, expressing an interest in drawing on Barbados’ expertise in the area. According to Tsepa, Lesotho is looking to improve its tourism sector enough to make it the country’s main source of economic activity. She said Lesotho was a tiny country with limited arable land that had seen its agricultural exports hampered by the impact of climate change. 
Caribjournal, 5 February 2014 - Read story HERE 


Vultures threatened by wind farm
Durban - A controversial wind farm proposed for Lesotho’s Maluti-Drakensberg region has received the green light from the Lesotho government.  But BirdLife South Africa and its conservation partners have requested that the government of this mountainous independent kingdom rethink its decision, because the wind farm “compromises the survival of vultures in the region and the reputation of the fledging wind energy industry in southern Africa.” 
Environment News Service, 4 February 2014 - Read story HERE 


Anglican Cathedral takes a green initiative
The Anglican Cathedral of Maseru has joined hands in order to create change environmentally. Having an understanding of energy and water scarcity, the youth took it as their responsibility to take action towards sustaining these resources. Based in Maseru the Cathedral is centrally situated, making it one of the key places to initiate a project towards energy efficiency, sustainable and renewable energy.  On the 18th of December 2013 an energy and water audit was conducted with the support of Tsepho Hlasoa from SAFCEI.  
AllAfrica.com, 3 February 2014 - Read story HERE 


Cableway plans extended to Lesotho
Durban - Plans for a controversial 7 km cable car route to the top of the Drakensberg have changed with a new proposal to extend it by another 5 km to link it to the Afriski ski resort in Lesotho and indirectly to a failed golf estate near Bergville. This follows a meeting last week between Mike Mabuyakhulu, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, and his counterparts from Lesotho and the Free State, where it was agreed that a new technical committee would be set up to discuss potential cable car partnership opportunities. Mabuyakhulu told a briefing in Durban that his department had also agreed to assist the Lesotho government to conduct its own feasibility study into extending the cableway by another 5km into the mountain kingdom. This could bring the top of the cable car route much closer to the Afriski development near Butha-Buthe in Lesotho.
iol travel, 31 January 2014 -  Read full storye HERE


Real challenges ahead of Lesotho’s macro-economic
The Lesotho macro-economic outlook 2013-2015 recently presented by the Central Bank of Lesotho, paints a somehow positive and promising trend though with high risks and a number of challenges as pointed out in the table of figures and from the experts. “Lesotho’s biggest challenge is its large, unproductive government size,” outrightly criticized the International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative Michael Tharkur during his presentation at the function hosted at Lehakoe in Maseru.  He said with the high government spending versus a relatively low real per capita growth, this should be a sign of real concern in the country’s economic performance.
Public Eye, 31 January 2014 -  Read full story HERE


Another MCC compact for Lesotho
MASERU — Lesotho has secured a second Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US based agency which sponsors development projects in poorer countries. According to MCC vice president Khamran Khan one of the factors Lesotho was chosen for the second Compact was because of its control of corruption and adherence to prin­ciples of democracy during the rollout of the first compact. Khan said based on the first Compact’s re­port, the board had been impressed with the status of rural water and was hoping for the incorporation of more local business persons in the second Compact.
Lesotho Times, 30 January 2014 -  Read full story HERE


Turning animal skin into cash
Armed with an invaluable skill soon after acquiring a diploma in Leather Technology, Hide and Skin Improvement in Kenya, Mojalefa Rasephei in 2000 decided to open a skin-processing firm in his home village of Mazenod. Lack of experience in running such a business would not deter Rasephei from realising his dream of owning his own enterprise, and neither would inadequate funding, which however, remains a challenge for his brainchild, Maseru Rural Tannery, to this day.  However, the decision by the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) to close down its company, Sheep Skin, was a blessing in disguise for Rasephei.
Public Eye, 31 January 2014 -  Read full story HERE


No end to high prices in sight
Consumers seem nowhere near getting a significant reprieve from the high food, fuel and transport prices in 2014, according to the latest inflation report.  Consumer inflation year-on-year went down slightly to 5.1 percent in December, according to the latest Con­sumer Price Index report by the Leso­tho Bureau of Statistics. Month-on-month inflation went down to 0.2 percent from last month’s 0.3 percent. However, monthly price increases were noted in the following commod­ity classes: cake flour, macaroni, malt, other cereal, footwear for women, par­affin as well as funeral services.
Lesotho Times, 30 January 2014 -  Read full story HERE 


Lesotho taking steps to strengthen
A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by David Dunn, visited Lesotho during January 14-27 for discussions on economic policies in the context of the 2014 Article IV consultation. At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Dunn issued the following statement:  - Lesotho’s economy has performed well in recent years, despite a severe fiscal and balance of payments shock and adverse weather conditions for agriculture. Growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) averaged just over 5 percent a year between fiscal year 2010/11 and 2012/13 (April-March), while inflation remained moderate.  The IMF team agrees with the Lesotho authorities that the time is right to strike a new balance between policies for economic stability and inclusive growth, as outlined in the National Strategic Development Plan. In particular, there is scope for a scaling up of public investment, while still maintaining adequate international reserves and a healthy fiscal balance. 
Ein Newsdesk, 29 January 2014 -  Full story HERE


Countries cooperating to bring clean water to Lesotho
Governments and organizations from the United States, Africa, Europe and the Middle East are working hand-in-hand to provide clean water to homes and businesses in Lesotho.  The Metolong Dam Water Supply Program, one of Lesotho's largest infrastructure programs since the country's independence in 1966, aims to provide a reliable source of water to nearly 125,000 people.  The roughly $400 million project is "a prime example of donor coordination that will ultimately benefit the Basotho people," the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) says. According to the MCC, rapid growth in Lesotho's capital of Maseru has strained the region's water supply. Both residential and industrial customers suffer water shortages during the dry season, stifling economic growth in the country's commercial hub.  International donors have committed funds to build different parts of the water supply system.  
AllAfrica.com - 16. January 2014 Full story - click HERE


Ambassador speaks on Sino-Lesotho relations
Long standing warm bi-lateral relations between Lesotho and China put Lesotho in good standing to attract investment from Chinese investors said the Chinese ambassador to Lesotho, HU Dingxian.  In an interview with the Lesotho Times on Monday he spoke among others, about diplomatic relations between the two countries following the 20th anniversary of the establishment of such relations on January 12th.  Dingxian expressed the Chinese Embassy’s willingness to help Lesotho attract much needed foreign investment from Chinese investors for social and economic investment.
Lesotho Times - 16. January 2014 -  Read more  HERE   


New developments set to start at Primary School
As part of social responsibility, Leboela construction will build 2 class rooms, connect electricity to them and install computers at Kopanong Lesotho Evangelical Church Primary School.  ‘Malebina Leboela, the director of Leboela construction, a company that will execute the afore said developments told the paper that children born and bred in the rural areas usually lack social facilities in comparison to those living in the urban areas.   The Principal said the new building will be a great solace for they have been struggling to get classrooms over years. “One worn out classroom collapsed during the night and fortunately no one was injured.”.  The school has 238 pupils and 7 qualified teachers.
Informative News - 14. January 2014   Full story HERE


M300 million projects for Quthing
Government will embark on several projects worth more than M300 million in Quthing this year as part of a grand plan to develop the district, deputy prime minister Mr Mothejoa Metsing has said.  Metsing, who is also leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) said this on Sunday at his party’s campaign rally held in the Tele constituency.  He noted his party was working hard to fulfill the promises it made prior to the May 2012 national election, which subsequently saw the LCD forming a coalition government with the All Basotho Convention and Basotho National Party.  The road that connects Askop with Tele Bridge would be tarred soon, he further said, adding government had asked contractors to bid for the project.
Public Eye - 10. January 2014 -  Full story HERE


First-ever economic census underway
In an effort to South Africa’s rand depreciated to the lowest intraday level since MarcThe Bureau of Statistics Lesotho has embarked on a first-ever nationwide economic census to determine the business landscape in the country.  The aim of the census is to gather information on business units in the country and to determine the structure of business and economic activity in Lesotho.  The survey, which will be carried out in three phases, kicked off in July last year during its initial phase which involved listing of all business establishments in the country.  Speaking to the Lesotho Times this week, census coordinator, ‘Malehloa Molato, said the census would focus on locally owned, foreign and multi-national businesses operating in the country, including non-profit organisations.  The exercise does not include government sectors and parastatals.
Lesotho Times - 10. January 2014 -  Read more HERE 


Mixed reactions on Notsi's resignation from Likuena
Basotho have expressed different views on the senior national team Likuena's coach resignation this week to join a South African National First Division side United Football Club.  In an interview some of the people LENA interviewed supported Mr. Leslie Notsi's resignation saying he must have received a better offer which tempted him to leave Likuena.
LENA, Tabaka Ramotsokoane - 7. January 2014.
Link for article HERE


R and weakens
In an effort to South Africa’s rand depreciated to the lowest intraday level since March 2009 against the dollar after measures of Chinese manufacturing fell, pushing emerging-market currencies weaker. Bonds declined.  A Chinese purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics declined to 50.5 in December from 50.8 the previous month, while a separate gauge compiled by the statistics bureau and logistics federation fell to 51 from 51.4. A reading above 50 signals expansion.  China is the biggest buyer of South African raw materials, accounting for about 12% of exports, according to government data.
Lesotho Times - 4. Janury 2013,  Full story: http://lestimes.com/?p=14927 


Events that shaped 2013
The editor’s of PED choice highlighting the chronology of major events of the year 2013.  Public Eye Daily, - 3. Janury 2013 

READ IT: http://publiceye.co.ls/?p=4886�D;�A;


Central bank trains journalists
In  The Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) hosted a two-day workshop this week to train local journalists on business and economic reporting.  The course covered, among other subjects, essential principles of good business reporting, fundamentals of a good business story, how to explain economic terminology and concepts to ordinary citizens and resolving ethical dilemmas in reporting. 
Lesotho Times - 23. December 2013 
FULL STORY: http://lestimes.com/?p=14858


Stock theft continues
In  Despite concerted efforts by the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) jointly with the Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) to keep order and peace in the country, stock theft continues to trouble Basotho, particularly those living in the highlands of the country. Herd boys who look after hundreds of animals in the posts in the mountains are the ones mostly affected when animals are stolen and forcefully taken away from them.  Speaking on behalf of the Principal Chief of Butha-Buthe, chieftain ‘Mamanamolela Mopeli said stock theft in the highlands of Lesotho and Qwa-Qwa in South Africa has now reached its peak where animals are confiscated at the nose of the defenceless herd boys at gun point.
Informative News, 17. December 2013 FULL STORY: CLICK HERE


News watch organized and linked by Ntate Trond Filberg.


King Letsie III - Opening of the Lesotho Parliament, October 17 2014 (PrtSc YT)

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