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File picture: Pexels

More blood will be shed over wool and mohair, says Lesotho opposition

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Dec 12, 2019

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Rustenburg - More bloody clashes can be expected in the Lesotho parliament if wool and mohair regulations are not amended, the opposition Movement for Economic Change (MEC) has said.

According to Lesotho Times, MEC leader Selibe Mochoboroane told a rally at Ha-Makhalanyane in Thaba-Bosiu this week, that parliament had lost its power and independence to the executive and urged Basotho to fight to restore its integrity.

His statements followed clashes in parliament two weeks ago in which he sustained a head injury.

Opposition MPs had been angered by the government’s failure to table proposed amendments to its restrictive wool and mohair regulations. They resorted to disrupting proceedings.

The opposition wanted to have wool and mohair regulations introduced by prime minister Thomas Thabane’s coalition, restricting farmers from selling their wool and mohair to select buyers scrapped.

During the chaos various MPs started exchanging blows and trashing furniture.

"We were fighting over wool and mohair, a battle which we have consistently fought against this atrocious government…" Mochoboroane said.

"This issue should not tire you, we are going to fight…If it means more bloodshed or dying for it, so be it. I did not get injured for an extra marital affair, nor did I get injured at another man’s house. Therefore, you should stand with your heads held up high because I got injured while executing the duties you have entrusted me with as your leader."

Small business development, cooperatives and marketing minister Chalane Phori, tabled amendments to the controversial wool and mohair regulations but the opposition immediately rejected them.

Phori's original 2018 regulations had banned wool and mohair farmers from selling their produce from outside the country except at the Lesotho Wool Centre.

The farmers revolted against the regulations and an ad hoc committee was eventually established to probe the issue. It recommended that Phori’s 2018 regulations be revisited.

The amended regulations now allow for the exportation of wool and mohair by a broker, trader or farmers but those intending to export the produce first have to apply for an export licence.

African News Agency (ANA)

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