MPs ask public to buy them gadgets

The government will have to splash money to purchase electronic gadgets for the 120 members of parliament plus 33 members of the Senate after the House passed the motion which urges the National Assembly members to consider the usage of iPads or tablets for the dissemination of daily business to the members.
The motion which was proposed by Member of Parliament for Mabote N0. 29 Moshoeshoe Fako on Friday, also urged the Government to provide the budget for purchase of these electronic gadgets for all members.
Supporting the motion, Fako said after making a thorough research, he discovered that usage of the iPads or tablets could save the government a lot of money spent on purchasing stationary as it is believed that it costs a lot of money.
He added that the usage of these electronic gadgets will make it easy for the MPs to access information as well as to conduct research on motions as well as other topics in order to make informed decisions.
“As MPs we take international trips where we meet other members of parliament and we need to contribute with well researched information and not just be spectators who take such trips for leisure,” he stressed.
Fako pointed out that even the reports handed to them as MPs could be well kept in these electronic gadgets rather than now where they rely on stationary which sometimes they even do not bother to read.
He dismissed as not true what people who seem to be against the motion are saying on the social media platforms. He said they are exaggerating and ballooning the estimated budget for purchasing the iPads, which he said based on his quotation, they could cost the government only M420,000 for a period of five years.
The Mabote MP said this figure could save the government of Lesotho a lot of money spent on daily stationary and on reports for the members which could rather be used electronically.
Member of Parliament representing Basotho National Party (BNP) on Proportional Representation (PR), Machesetsa Mofomobe who is also Deputy Minister of Home Affairs seconded the motion.
He said the World is now on fourth industrial revolution with the usage of technology being given preference against relying on manual for easy access to information.
Mofomobe said workshops will be conducted for those members who are technologically unskilled.
However, some of the opposition members argued that the timing of the motion is not good considering the financial status the country is currently facing as well as challenges like the on-going teachers strike.
Qalo N0.4 MP Thabang Kholumo said despite the motion being good, he was against it saying that as members they need to prioritise on things which are of public interests over their personal gains.
He argued that with the little salary they get, they could be able to purchase their own iPads or tablets to be used for easy access of information.
Kholumo asked if the Mabote MP has included the members of the Senate when he made his calculations for the costs of the ipads.
He said they need to save money in order to address the teachers demands and not look for things which benefit them as members.
However, the House passed the motion after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Sephiri Motanyane put the question.

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