By Neo Kolane
The Transform Lesotho Initiative (TLI) is calling on all youths to take a stand to “restore their dignity” by partaking in the bacha shutdown demonstration planned for early next month.
“The demonstration (#BachaShudown) is an exercise of our rights and responsibilities as citizens of Lesotho,” said the TLI in a statement issued today.
The TLI said the dignity of youths has been stripped away by the “powers that be”.
Everyone in Lesotho has the right to have their dignity protected and respected. They also have the right to be heard and the responsibility to hold public office bearers to account.
The TLI said it was calling on the youth of Lesotho to take a stand against exclusion.
Reluctance to implement the National Youth Policy and creating the National Youth Council was evidence of this exclusion, the TLI statement said.
It said implementing such a move would allow for formal youth representation in national decision making bodies.
“Nothing for us without us!,” said the statement adding: “The high and rapidly rising unemployment is not only depriving us of a livelihood, but it is the cause of our depression, substance abuse, and other toxic coping mechanisms that render us helpless and oftentimes lead to our demise”.
In the statement, the TLI calls on “all citizens of Lesotho” to march from the Moshoeshoe Statue Park to Parliament in Maseru on Monday 9 November 2020.
The march begins at 9 am.
“We will deliver a letter containing our demands to the Rt. Hon Prime Minister, the Speaker of the National Assembly, and all Members of Parliament,” said the TLI.
“We are aware and appreciate the regulations that prohibit marches and public gatherings to minimise the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is in that spirit that we will rather be walking together as the youth of Lesotho while observing social distancing and wearing masks.”
The TLI said it was also calling on youth organisations and people of goodwill to join in the #BachaShutdown.
“We invite the business community and individuals to donate their expertise and resources that can help this initiative become a success,” said the TLI.
“For example, human rights lawyers can give us free legal advice while transport business people can help mobilise youth from faraway places. This can be done anonymously or publicly.
“Finally, we call on all young people of this country to unite in action against all ills that continue to destroy our great Kingdom.
“May this march be one that will ignite the fire of patriotism in us and make us want to serve her for all the days of our lives in our different fields of knowledge and interests.”
By Neo Kolane