Co-op’s outcry falls on deaf ears

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By Neo Mathibe

Bambanane Multipurpose Cooperative Society is made up of a group of community members from the Quthing district in the south of Lesotho. This corporative was formed by community members in Quthing in response to the increasing unemployment in the country.

The Bambanane Multipurpose Cooperative Society members came together hoping to create jobs for themselves and to introduce the idea of production in their hometown as a way to unburden not only themselves, but hopefully the country from the notorious importation of goods into the country.

A number of community members came together and formed this cooperation in the hope of making a living for their families. They registered as a corporative and have since been working as one on a couple of projects in the Quthing district.

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Their projects range from production of petroleum jelly, to fruit juices and other products. However, their production has been put to a halt by a lack of inputs in the country and the high cost of importing them from the neighbouring countries in order for them to make more products.

‘Mapotsane Potsane, former secretary of the cooperative told theReporter earlier this week, of their unrelenting fight to gain ownership of the property they have been utilizing to carry out all their projects. This property was given to them by aid organisation World Vision Lesotho, after the project they were working on was completed in 2015. Potsane says the property was handed over to them by word of mouth and has since been in their care since then.

In their pursuit to create and produce job creation skills, they encountered a few hitches, and they sought help from organisation to come give come to their rescue and the only way they could get assistance was if they had ownership of the facility which they to this point do not have a lease to.

They went out of their way to seek the lease to the property from World Vision but without any luck, even though they have been at it for close to two years now. They have been in this tug-of-war with World Vision over the handover of the lease. Not only are they at loggerheads with World Vision, but the chief too, who pushes them from pillar to post when they inquire about the key to the facility.

One of the members of the cooperative ‘Mamakhobalo Letsie says the property was given by World Vision to the community organisation back in 2015 and has since been under the care of the 15 organisations that work together.

However, with time some organisations fell off the cliff and in the end they were advised to form a single cooperative which they named Bambanane Multipurpose Cooperatives Society.

Commenting on the cooperative’s problem, World Vision’s information officer Atang Likotsi said he does not believe it should take so long for the cooperative to acquire the lease to the property.

“I am not aware of this problem, but I will contact our office in Quthing to find out how far they are with the processing of the lease, and make sure that they follow up on the matter. I will call you back to let you know of the progress regarding the matter.” Atang told the Reporter yesterday.