DPL leader seeks MPs to forfeit M5000 to COVID-19 fund
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By Mamello Mosaefane
Democratic Party of Lesotho leader, Limpho Tau, has filed a motion to the national assembly yesterday, proposing Member of Parliament should agree to forfeit their M5000 fuel allowance to a Covid-19 relief fund.
Tau wants the relief fund to be funded by the Members of parliament with their windfall M 5000 fuel allowance that Parliament has just introduced.
Tau’s motion follows much public outcry over the M5000 petrol allowances and 10% salary increases awarded to Ministers and their deputies.
If the motion passes, it will see the Members of parliament forfeit the windfall fuel allowance and 10 percent salary increase from April 2021 until March 2022.
His motion reads, “That this honourable house resolves to undertake a noble cause by establishing Lesotho members of parliament Covid-19 relief fund, that will be financed by their contributions from the recently passed M5000.00 petrol allowances and 10% increments in the case of ministers and deputy ministers for the period April 2021 to March 2022.”
The KDNews has learned that motion has reached the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and expected to be discussed by the business committee upon the return from Easter holidays, then passed to the national assembly for consideration.
Tau said on normal basis, the motion would be passed to parliament by next week as it is a normal one, but the holidays will cause a delay.
Still in condemnation of the petrol allowance, Tau said MPs are burdening themselves with the responsibility of social development.
“Many are arguing that they need that money because they assist people in their constituencies, especially with burials. If they are helping people as they say, then why the petrol allowance while they should have requested a relief fund for such help they are offering help to,” Tau said.
He also said MPs should be connecting people with the ministry of social development, because it is its job to help people, arguing that those for the M5000 are just defending what is wrong.
Tau also told KDNews should the motion be successful, this will be a collection of M11, 1 Million in 12 months for the proposed MPs Covid-19 relief fund, which he said will be a huge beneficial contribution just like other businesses are committed to offering a helping hand toward the fight against the pandemic.
He therefore said he is counting on the Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader Mothetjoa Metsing, for support as he has been firmly standing against the petrol allowance too.
Tau said he is also looking forward to Alliance of Democrats (AD) support as he realised that they have gone against the petrol allowance too, after Litjobo and Phamotse’s vehement support of it in parliament.
After AD’s Mahali Phamotse and Thuso Litjobo’s strong support of the M5000 petrol allowance in parliament, AD National Executive Committee issued a statement that it has resorted to go against the petrol allowance, as well as changing the minds of its members who were in support of it.
AD promised in its statement that should they receive the petrol allowance, they will dedicate it to the fight against Covid-19 and support for those who have been hard hit by the virus either in businesses or individuals.