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Lesotho

Lesotho budget speech: 2008/09

Timothy T. Thahane

Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Lesotho

13 February 2008

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Madam Speaker

  1. I have the honour to present to this Joint Session of both Houses of Parliament and before the Nation the Government’s Statement of development policies and Budget Estimates for the fiscal year 2008/2009. As in the past, the Government expects that when the new financial year begins, the Budget will have been approved and that it will form the basis of Accountability and Report-back on its stewardship of the public finances.
Madam Speaker

  1. The key message behind this Budget is simple:

    Lesotho cannot afford to lose to other countries the race for jobs; the race for a better life for all its people; and the race for high, sustainable and shared economic growth.

    What do we need to do to win this race? We need teamwork, partnerships and an investment conducive environment that can encourage local and foreign investors alike. Our traditional mindset for doing business must change. We must be agile and nimble in our actions to streamline procedures and processes for doing business; for building physical infrastructure; for reforming company registrations and licences; for issuing property leases and mortgages; for connecting telephones, water and electricity; for paying old age pensions; and for attending to the sick and indigent at hospitals and clinics. The children we sponsor at Tertiary institutions must excel academically; they must demonstrate discipline and passion for excellence. We must not accept or make excuses for mediocrity. In short, “Re tšoanela ho tata; re tšoanela ho sebetsa ka thata; Re tšoanela ho sebetsa kapele, le ho boloka nako ho ntšetsa meralo le merero pele (we need to hurry up; to work hard and on time to implement our plans and programmes)”!


  2. But, Madam Speaker, the environment in which we run this race for jobs and a better future for our children must be peaceful and devoid of social tensions and confrontations. We must look back into our history and reflect on the values that formed the foundations of Basotho Nation at a difficult time of lifaqane. As our Former Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Dr. Ntsu Mokhehle, said when delivering Moshoeshoe Memorial Lecture in March 1995:

      “The King (Moshoeshoe I) believed that there could never be any social harmony and economic progress without peace and any State which ignores this, is built on Sand. PEACE IS LIKE RAIN WHICH MAKES THE GRASS GROW. WAR IS LIKE THE WIND THAT DRIES IT… He (Moshoeshoe) strove for independence based on international comradeship since he adhered to his famous expression that PEACE IS THE MOTHER OF NATIONS”.

  3. Let us heed these wise words and create a peaceful environment that is conducive to economic progress and social harmony. Let us resolve our differences peacefully and avoid indefinite or suspended work disruptions.




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