Africa-Press – Lesotho. THE government is deeply concerned with the influx of Asians into Lesotho who end up getting citizenship and buying large tracts of land on the cheap.
Local Government Minister Lebona Lephema, speaking at an indaba with principal chiefs on Tuesday, said he is concerned that foreigners will buy out pieces of land in Lesotho at the expense of the locals.
“I am worried about the foreigners who are seen in our community penetrating us in high numbers,” Lephema said.
“Unfortunately, these people are entering the country in high numbers, and they will continue until they replace us all,” he said.
“These people buy our land, they have money, and they will buy the entire country because they have money,” he said, adding: “We have to work together so that we stop this at all costs. I am asking for sessions with you where we will discuss all these matters. ”
Political activists have in the past expressed serious concern with the influx of Asians of Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and Middle Eastern descents who acquire Lesotho citizenships and then buy prime land in Lesotho.
Many of them, according to a source close to the matter, start with being issued with work and residence permits that are issued at the Ministry of Labour.
Lephema told the chiefs that he has since suspended the issuance of the permits because of the same reason. “I have suspended the issuance of residence permits because they were issued by one person who we do not know what he gets prior to the issuance,” he said.
The source told thepost that the government fears that the “unlawful residence permits will let foreigners flood the country until they capture it”. He said it is unfortunate that in the recent past general elections, a Mosotho of Chinese descent was contesting to be an MP.
“Could a Mosotho be a President in China?” Lephema asked, further arguing that this shows that Lesotho’s laws are loose. Lephema appealed to the principal chiefs to work together to solve problems facing the country.
The meeting was used as a yardstick to measure how the Ministries of Local Government and Home Affairs are executing their services to the public. Lephema said the chiefs should stop fighting and should pull towards one direction for the benefit of this country.
This initiative came shortly after tempers flared in the Senate where the Principal Chiefs traded barbs. “Lesotho has problems. It needs unity to help rescue it from these problems,” Lephema said.
And the country’s image has to be restored to where it was before. Now the country is being called by all sorts of names and has a high crime rate. Because of the problems rocking the country, Lephema said it should be every mother’s responsibility to work towards changing the situation for the better.
Lephema said Basotho should put aside their political inclinations and unite for the good of the country. He said they are aware that there are always conflicts among the chiefs, the government and the councillors yet they are supposed to work together.
“It is disheartening to see Basotho carrying their sick and the corpses on horseback,” Lephema said.
“No one could stand here and say he does not have Manomoro and other gangsters in their communities. We need to restore peace and stability”. He said it is not fair that criminals are granted M500 bail by the courts after committing crimes.
“It is our responsibility to tell the police when there are dangerous people in our communities,” Lephema said.
The Principal Chief of Matsieng, Chief Seeiso Seeiso, urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to be proactive and teach the police and the Courts of Law to collaborate with the chiefs.
“It hurts to see these departments not working together. Some chiefs have lost cases for no valid reason,” Chief Seeiso said.
Chief Seeiso was furious that criminals are granted bail of just M200 after committing heinous crimes in the communities. Leribe Principal Chief Joel Motšoene said they do not have the resources to do their job.
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