March 19, 2021


2 min read

One last punch for our wool, mohair farmers

One last punch for our wool, mohair farmers

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THE fact that the government has finally jumped into the fray over the unpaid monies of the wool and mohair farmers by way of paying them is a step in the right direction.

The intervention is however, long overdue because some of the farmers whose fibre has not been paid for have already perished, while others are wallowing in abject poverty.

Financial records that are in shambles are the norm in Lesotho’s affairs. But this time around, whosoever is responsible has gone a bit too far, as the bulk of the victims are hapless citizens who have their livestock as their only source of income.

So when their lone means of livelihood is mercilessly blown out, that is another way of slapping them with a death penalty.

This is when their only crimes include taking care of their animals, ensuring that they produce the much needed fibre and demanding to be paid for their troubles.

Getting back to the mismatch in the financial records – it is clear that unless something is done right when government finally pays the farmers, there will be a risk of money being inadvertently sent to ghost farmers.

What does not make sense is why can’t someone who has the authority to, put the Thaba-Bosiu Wool Centre and its divisive Chinese proprietor Stone Shi in their rightful place?

Another thing is what hold does this man have over people who are supposedly running affairs of this country, because by the look of things, the Oriental seems to be the man in charge here?

He is clearly so big that the government has to fork money out of its own coffers to settle his debts. When has that ever happened?

If Shi and his sidekicks cannot be cut to size now, there is no doubt that he will never cease to cause the kind havoc he has already stirred.  

Cabinet has pledged that the budget for the ministries of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing and that of Agriculture and Food Security will not be disbursed until the wool and mohair saga has been settled.

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The question is what will happen to all projects in the two essential ministries in the event that the dust does not settle in the wool and mohair affray?

It goes without saying that someone, somewhere is not doing what they are paid to do.

The issue of unpaid wool and mohair farmers has been handled with kids’ gloves for far too long, so much so that it has finally lost its flavour.  

If this country which largely relies on farming, especially wool and mohair products cannot protect its own people from elements that are so bent on bleeding them dry, then there is no hope for our already tripping economy that desperately needs serious resuscitation.

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