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Concerned Youths’ battle elevates

Business

Seabata Mahao

The Concerned Youths’ protracted battle to barricade Parliament from awarding its members the controversial M5000 monthly fuel allowances has taken a new twist.

The scuffle propelled the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on the Prime Minister’s Ministries and Departments, Governance, Foreign Relations and Information Cluster to call the irate youths to settle the matter after the said youths sought to take-up the legal route against the matter.  

This follows a March 2021 Government Gazette Extraordinary Legal Notice Members of Parliament SalariesAmendment ScheduleRegulations, 2020 before Parliament which entitles legislators to monthly M5 000Petrol allowances, among many other benefits.

They requested Parliament to establish an Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office-bearers. On April 20 2021 they also submitted a Petition regarding Members of Parliament Amendment of Schedule Regulations of 2020 electronically to the National Assembly.  

“We intended to deliver a petition on August 20 which was duly received by Parliament against legislators for enacting the Members of ParliamentAmendment of scheduleRegulations of 2020. Unfortunately we failed to deliver the petition since the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) detained us for five hours without charge,” the letter reads.

Moreover, last week the youths instructed their attorneys to institute legal action against Parliament for contravening Standing Order 79.

“All petitions to the National Assembly shall be handed to the Clerk who shall immediately refer them to the Speaker and cause their publication in the Announcements, Tabling and Committee Reports (ATC) under announcements bearing the name of the petitioner and the date received.

“The Speaker shall at the earliest convenience refer the petition to the relevant committee or Ministry for appropriate action. A committee or Ministry to which a petition is referred shallreport back to the House within 20 working days from the date of referral. The submission thereof shall be published in the ATC and may, if deemed appropriate, be debated in the House,” the said Standing Order under Petitions notes reads.

They added that, last Friday, they received a letter inviting them to make an oral submission before The Portfolio Committee on the Prime Minister’s Ministries and Departments, Governance, Foreign Relations and Information Cluster.

President of the movement Tumelo Moteuli stated that they made oral submissions before The Portfolio Committee on the Prime Minister’s Ministries and Departments, Governance, Foreign Relations and Information Cluster where “we categorically stated that the Regulations should be revoked.

“We reiterated our stance that our legislators are clearly out of touch with the realities we face, particularly since the economy has taken a knock due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, we also maintained that there’s a need to enact the independent commission for the remuneration of public office bearers Act,” Moteuli said.

Additionally, they requested the committee to urgently write to the National Reforms Authority (NRA) to fast-track processes regarding the establishment of the Commission since it was adopted by Plenary II of the Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue Reforms. And their expectation is that, the Committee will present recommendations before the House as per Standing Order 79.

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