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NACOSEC to reprimand politicians


Ntsoaki Motaung

The National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) will hold a meeting with Lesotho Politicians for Noncompliance with the health rules and regulations of the Ministry of Health and NACOSEC in place to help fight Covid-19. The meeting is set for today (Friday May 28, 2021).

This was said by the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry Health who is also the Communications and Publicity Manager of NACOSEC ‘Mateboho Mosebekoa.

This comes after there has been a complaint that the politicians who are supposed to be leading by example in every national issues, the covid-19 pandemic and its fight included.

There were political rallies held where Covid-19 regulations were not followed. There was no Social Distancing, wearing of masks and the total number of people who have attended seemed to have exceeded the required number according to the Risk Determination Mitigation Strategy according to which the country is at Alert-Level Blue color.

Unlike with other sectors, the politicians will only get at worst, verbal backlash for their transgressions while other members of the community are held accountable for their noncompliance but for them it is a different situation as no one seems to enforce the law on them.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Lesotho Liquor and Restaurant Owners Association (LI&ROA) President Motseki Nkeane, he indicated that as members of the Association they are not pleased with the way politicians handle matters when it comes to Covid-19 regulations.

“We try by all means to adhere to the rules and regulations as provided by NACOSEC and sometimes if we fail to, we are forced to abide,” he said.

According to the Risk Determination and Mitigation Strategy Liquor stores operate from Monday to Sunday from 08:00am to 08:00pm with takeaways only and the nightclubs to be completely closed.

While political gatherings are allowed at a maximum of 200 people inside and maximum of 500 outside. They should not last more than 3 hours, alcohol is also not allowed and people are required to wear masks and ensure physical distancing at all times and observe all other Covid-19 protocols.

However, according to Nkeane the political gatherings take more than 3 hours with more than 500 people who do not observe social distancing.

“This is as if political party followers do not get infected with Covid-19 and only our customers can get infected. We therefore urge the government to try to be fair on this issue. If political gatherings are allowed while they do not abide by the rules, we should also be allowed to operate our normal ways,” he said.

Nkeane stated that as the association they have intentions to talk to the Minister of Tourism and NACOSEC.

According to the Legal Notice on Public Health Covid-19 Risk Determination and Mitigation Measures Regulations 2021, a person who contravenes regulations 3(5), 7(3), 4, and 8(2) commits an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding M5,000.00 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month or both. “An owner, a manager or person in charge of a business who contravenes regulations 3(12)(e), (12), 4(2), 6(1), (2) and 8(1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding M10,000.00 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two months or both.”

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