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IS YOUTH REVOLUTION BREWING IN LESOTHO?

By Staff Writers

Maseru, Dec 03 (The Night’s Watch) – There is a group of young people in Lesotho who say the current crop of politicians are ineffectual, can never provide sustainable solutions to the country’s problems and want them removed by hook or by crook, The Night’s Watch can reveal.

This group, allegedly led by a person whose names are known to this publication but have been withheld for the sake of his safety, is secretly calling on young people in Lesotho “who are committed to real change” to stand up and be counted.

“They are planning to establish a militant, pragmatic, future-focused social movement whose aim will be to alert the nation to the difficulties and constraints of the existing state of affairs (status quo) and organise radical transformation as a genuine programme to achieve inclusive growth,” the sources close to the development said.

The sources also indicated that the formation of this new organisation will be a protest against economic, social and political marginalisation of the youth, women and minority groups.

It will be an organisation where young Basotho men and women and other future-focused individuals will meet and exchange ideas in an atmosphere pervaded by a common hatred of youth and women exclusion.

The sources said: “The organisation will be the brains-trust and power-station of the spirit of activism and progressivism. It will also be a co-ordinating agency for youthful forces employed in rousing popular political consciousness.”

This group of young people appear to have taken a page out of the Martin Luther King, Jr’s book

Born in Atlanta, the capital of the United States of America’s state of Georgia, Martin Luther King was one of the twentieth century’s best-known advocates for nonviolent social change.

His exceptional oratorical skills and personal courage first attracted attention in 1955, when he and other civil rights activists were arrested after leading a boycott of a Montgomery, Alabama, transportation company which required non-whites to surrender their seats to whites, and stand or sit at the back of the bus.

Over the following decade, King wrote, spoke and organized nonviolent protests and mass demonstrations to draw attention to racial discrimination and to demand civil rights legislation to protect the rights of African-Americans.

In 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, King guided peaceful mass demonstrations that the white police force countered with police dogs and fire hoses, creating a controversy which generated newspaper headlines throughout the world. Subsequent mass demonstrations in many communities culminated in a march that attracted more than 250,000 protestors to Washington, DC, where he delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech in which he envisioned a world where people were no longer divided by race.

So powerful was the movement he inspired, that Congress – the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consisting of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate – enacted the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the same year King himself was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.

This group of young people in Lesotho’s gambit appears to be much the same.

This publication was unable to establish if the group intends to register a political party in time for the 2022 elections.

This group’s vision, according to documents seen by this publication, is grounded on the defence, promotion and extension of the following principles:

  1. The supremacy of the Lesotho constitution and the rule of law;
  2. A judiciary, justice system and prosecuting authority that is independent;
  3. The separation of legislative, executive and judicial power;
  4. Equality before the law;
  5. The fundamental rights and freedoms of every person – in particular, the right to participate in government, right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement;
  6. Respect for the right of a vibrant civil society and free media to function independently;
  7. The devolution of power to locate government as close as possible to the people;
  8. The clear division between the ruling party and the state;
  9. The rejection of violence and intimidation as a political instrument;
  10. Access to free quality education and training;
  11. Protection and conservation of the environment. NW

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