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Voters have made history, now the real work begins: RFP 

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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Following the announcement of some of the election results, the Lesotho Times Editor, Herbert Moyo and Deputy Editor, Silence Charumbira, engaged some of the senior Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) candidates who spoke about their victories and outlined their plans upon being sworn-in to parliament. 

Excerpts: 

Nthomeng Majara (Maseru Central)

This victory represents an immense leap of faith by voters who have chosen to entrust their fate and the fate of the nation in the hands of the RFP. We will not let them down. When we decided to offer ourselves for public service, it was not because we sought material gain or the prestige of power, but because we wanted to give something to Basotho through the government, specifically prosperity.

Message to the electorate:

I’m deeply grateful for the overwhelming support. As one of the co-founders of the RFP, I know we were all taking a leap of faith because we felt the burden to act; to do something as we watched the country teetering on the brink of disaster. So my profound respect and sincere appreciation goes to the voters who also felt the same burden and chose to act by going out in their numbers to give RFP the mandate to govern. When (and not if) things turn around for this country, it will not be because RFP swopped in to save the day; it will be because ordinary Basotho had the urgency, the determination and the faith to believe they could make a difference by exercising their democratic right to elect leaders of their own free will. When the story of this election is told, I hope due credit for any and all victories is given to the voters because ultimately, it is their choices that have shaped the outcome. They have changed the course Lesotho’s future by making history.

On priorities after being sworn into parliament:

There are many priorities because there is so much that has gone wrong in our country. For instance, there are a myriad of challenges that face the judiciary in Lesotho. The RFP has specific policies for the reform of the judiciary to ensure Basotho have access to justice and are treated equally before the law. Addressing challenges such as corruption and bureaucracy through the removal of discretionary powers of public officials, as well as through structural and systemic interventions to empower presently lethargic and weak institutions will be a priority. 

Nthati Moorosi (Thetsane)

I’m humbled and motivated to prove myself worthy of the faith that has been placed in me by both my party RFP and the voters who selected me. The real work starts now and we have no intention of failing or faltering because history will judge us harshly if we squander the support that Basotho have bestowed upon us. We have proved ourselves at the polls and we are ready to prove ourselves by delivering prosperity.

Message to the electorate:

I want to thank the constituents for making history. This victory would not have been possible without the voters who came out in their numbers, especially the youth. Elections are a game of numbers and had it not been for each individual who made the choice to participate and the choice to vote for the RFP, the country might have been doomed to continue on a catastrophic path. I am glad that the voters, in particular the youth, chose to take a decisive stand and say enough is enough. As the RFP, we are more inspired and determined to prove that they made the right choice.

There was also a huge number of new voters and some who say they last voted several years ago and had given up. Some are old people who had given up. However, the RFP stimulated their hope once again and they voted.

On priorities after being sworn into parliament:

The challenges are daunting but as the RFP, we are prepared to tackle them by implementing the relevant policies and interventions outlined in our manifesto. We will address food insecurity, poverty unemployment, infrastructure decay and economic inequality. At the same time, we strive to deepen political stability, democracy and eradicate lawlessness. We know these objectives will not be achieved overnight but we are resolute in our commitment to delivering prosperity because Basotho have suffered enough.

On achieving an outright victory and breaking the jinx of successive coalitions:

I believe that the RFP offered Basotho the best leader in the person of Ntate Samuel Matekane and the best opportunity for real transformation. It would be remiss of us as a party to imagine that there is any glory that is due to us for the outcome of these elections because the reality is that these election results are an expression of hope, they are the culmination of deeply-held faith and trust in a man who has been selfless in his philanthropy and desire to uplift Lesotho. More significantly, I think the youth believed the RFP could make a difference and they translated that belief into votes. I think it can be argued that it took the youth’s commitment to participating in the election to break the jinx and chart a different course for this nation. I think after these elections we can never again doubt the power of youth as active participants in ushering in a new democratic order.

One thing that Ntate Matekane always said was that he wanted the RFP to govern alone and not in a coalition. He said it at every rally that he wanted to rule alone. The tongue is powerful like that. He doesn’t mince his words. He knows what he wants and he pronounces it to the people.

Another thing is that Lesotho had been hungry for a new political leadership. They wanted somebody fresh, somebody from outside the traditional political sphere. They wanted somebody with a track record of implementing policies.

The current voters are different from those of the past who were swayed by leaders’ beautiful words; now they look at results and Ntate Matekane came in as one of those outstanding leaders that people have been hungry for. They have really shown that they trust him to take this country forward.