Mopheme/The Survivor (Maseru)

Lesotho: Rakuoane Climbs to PFD Leadership

Maseru — Founding IPA Co-Chairperson, Adv. Lekhetho Rakuoane has been elected new leader of the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) at the weekend general conference of the party.

Rakuoane takes over from Rakali Khitsane who now become his deputy. New surprise entry in the Front's executive was the election of constitutional expert and lecturer at the National University of Lesotho, Adv. Nqosa Mahao who has taken over as the Secretary general.

His election into the Front's committee has been seen as a major scoop for the party as most of its brain-tanks have been playing in the background since PFD founding. Mahao is deputised by Karabo Tlhabeli.

Other members of the committee are: National Chair - Mokokoana Mafa,; Treasurer - 'Maseetsa Majara; National Organizer - Bale Malee; Foreign Relations Secretary - Thabang Kholumo; while the communist stalwart and veteran politician Mokhafisi Kena (74) has now been the task of Propagandist.

In a brief interview with Kena, he said this year's conference has seen a new development in the Front, especially with the huge participation of the youth and women.

"Our membership is increasing tremendously and together with other democratic forces in the country, we can see hope for the future democracy in Lesotho," he said.

Kena said with the view of election 2000, PDF feels that the new Alliance within the IPA, Khokanyan'a-Phiri, should develop beyond the IPA and elections for the good of the national stability and promotion of sharing of views.

Among the strong resolutions that the party came up with at the conference, Kena said PFD feels that fight against crime should be in the priority list of the government. "While we support the establishment of the Counter Crime Unit (CCU), we however feel that its activities should be inclusive of the people, the chiefs, development councils and other sectors of the society in order for their activities to be transparent," he said.

On the issue of poverty eradication, Kena said the party has urged the government to come out with clear and sustainable programmes without any party political interference.

He cited examples like free primary education, which he said will be a big investment for the future in the poverty fight. Other programmes that he said his party could sell to the government included the establishment of a poverty eradication fund which all sectors of the society will participate and be involved in, order to curb corruption and mismanagement.

He also talked about the civil service reform saying: "There is no service now, the standards are deteriorating. PFD recommends for a clean reform that will clear the influence of party politics in the service. The PDF conference also felt that the privatisation policy has been implemented in a rush and should be called to a halt and re-examined to promote greater participation of the indigenous Basotho capital.

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