OP-EDs

OP-ED: WOOL FARMERS ARE PLANNING THE BIGGEST MARCH EVER

By Mokoenihi Thinyane
The Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers Association has written a petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly of Lesotho following Motion 113, of Monday June 10 2019, where Honourable Mothetjoa Metsing moved a motion to establish an ad hoc committee on the wool and mohair industry.

Our letter to the Honorable House of Parliament was to humbly request for a suspension of Legal Notice No. 65 of 2018 as those regulations prevent us from selling our fibre at an open and internationally recognized market with optimized returns.

As much as we are aware that the ‘establishment of an AD HOC Committee on the Wool and Mohair Industry’ is possibly done in good faith, we are kindly expressing that due to the financial crises caused by Legal Notice No. 65 of 2018 our members and the fifty thousand small-stock fibre growers at large are not willing and able to wait for the findings of the AD HOC Committee but instead requested the Honourable House to suspend the regulations while the committee carries on with its set duties.

We would like to point out that most of our mohair growers never got a cent from their last year mohair clip and as we submit this petition to the Honourable House the next auction at the Wool and Mohair Exchange according to the catalogue is scheduled for August 13, 2019 (Mohair) and 14th of August 2019 (Wool).

It is for that reason that most wool and mohair growers decided not to shear their stock at the wool sheds (note that even those who sheared at the wool sheds have vowed not to send their fiber to Thaba-Bosiu anymore) as subjecting to that, does not only compromise their expected and projected sales forecasts.

It should be noted here that not only our name as an association but our brokers’ name as well were tarnished during the process of implementing the regulations since last year.
Therefore, the association would like to point out that depending on the integrity and fairness of the proposed committee, the truth may come out, therefore we believe that speedy construction of the committee should go concurrently with suspension of the Regulations as for fibre that is to be auctioned at the Exchange, on August 13 2019, it must be with the broker in Port Elizabeth before the 17th of July 2019.

We have also stated to the Speaker of the National Assembly that the situation on the ground is very disturbing where some of our members have died of heart attack, depression, stroke etc. while we have recorded cases of sickly elders due to depriving us from getting our only annual income.

We would like to call on the media houses and the nation at large that we are currently applying for a permit from the Lesotho Mounted Police, as we are planning the biggest march ever in the history of protests in Lesotho. Our aim is to come out in numbers peacefully as always to both Houses of Parliament to state our grievances on Friday June 28 2019. NW

Mokoenihi Thinyane is the National Chairperson of the Lesotho Wool and Mohair Growers Association (LWMGA).

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