A group of concerned Basotho youth demanded to petition the legislature and the executive this morning on high unemployment rate, the national youth policy and gender based violence.
The youth were dispersed by heavily armed police who fired several warning shots in the air to disperse them for what the police described as an unlawful procession as the youth failed to secure a permit allowing them to march to the parliament building.
The youth were forced to retreat and not to block the road leading to the parliament by the police who fired the warning shots in the air to disperse the group, after being given two minutes to vacate the place or else face the might of the law.
In the petition letter, the youth said they demand that unemployment be declared a national state of disaster in line with the appropriate and relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, 1997.
”This is to allow the government of Lesotho to be intentional and decisive about bringing this monstrous disease to a controllable low. Government’s policies should as a result be bias towards the employment of youth,” the youth said in the letter of demands.
They cited that government’s procurement policy could change to prioritising businesses started and run by youth and or require government suppliers to have employed at least 25 percent youth at managerial and operational level.
The youth further showed that the national state of disaster would enable the government to provide support to the private sector to create employment opportunities, adding that this would also allow government to view project and business of government from a job-creation point of view.
The youth highlighted that the window-dressing of the National Youth Policy has been a clear indication to them that they are on their own and that both the government and the legislators have no interest to uplift and empower the youth.
Again, they pointed out that the recent research shows that 86 percent of women in Lesotho have experienced Gender Based Violence (GBV) in their lifetime.