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China Railway wants LEC contract back

KEISO MOHLOBOLI   China Railway International Group has asked Lesotho’s Energy Ministry to reinstate a M2-billion contract for construction of 132KV powerline from Mazenod to Qacha’s Nek, which the Lesotho Electricity Company cancelled in controversial circumstances earlier this year. However, the role of China Railways in the project appears to hangs in

‘Secret’ M2-billion China deal exposed

Minister slams LEC powerline contract as illegal and unauthorised SECHABA MOKHETHI The Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) has been accused of secretly entering a M2-billion power line contract with a major Chinese state-owned company without informing the Minister of Energy or the Cabinet. The MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism can exclusively reveal that the

Villagers sue Letšeng mine over relocation

Satellite view of Lets'eng Diamond Mine

SECHABA MOKHETHI In a highly unusual application, a group of villagers have asked the Lesotho High Court to order the Letšeng Diamond Mine to relocate them because they fear being engulfed by flooding from the mine’s slime dams. Patising village is located downslope of Letšeng, an active mine. The villagers fear they

Mining company dumps workers unpaid as it packs up

MATIISETSO MOSALA Basil Read mining’s failure to meet targets at Liqhobong Mining Development Company haunts the mining company over unpaid retrenchment packages and compensation of more than 154 employees. The employees’ union, Lesotho Workers Association (LEWA), has filed an urgent application in the High Court accusing Basil Read of “unlawfully and unfair

Mothae’s bid: a pricing manipulation threat

SECHABA MOKHETHI A request by Lesotho’s Mothae kimberlite mine to sell diamonds to its major owner and operator, the Australian-based Lucapa Diamond Company, presents a chance for pricing manipulation, warns Antwerp Belgium based researcher. Hans Merket, researcher for Belgium-based research centre, International Peace Information Service, told MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism that,

Covid-19 scourge exposes Mapholaneng water crisis

KEISO MOHLOBOLI Covid-19 has shined a harsh spotlight on the hardships faced by Mapholaneng community as a result of the government’s failure to live up to promises of its 2007 policy that entitled “access to a sustainable supply of potable water” to all Basotho. Many of the country’s citizens living in rural

Mapholaneng teen pregnancy cases jump: LHDA accused

ROSE MOREMOHOLO The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has come under fire over a sharp increase in teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases – including HIV/Aids – in the town closest to ongoing construction work on the Polihali Dam. Realeboha Tlhabi, nursing officer at the health centre in the town of Mapholaneng

Letšeng mine faced with COVID-19 infection scare

Mine downplays high risks amid deaths Matiisetso Mosala Lesotho’s highest quality diamond producer, Letšeng Diamond Mine is allegedly faced with a challenge of containing the spread of COVID-19 amongst workers contracted by various companies on its mining site in Mokhotlong. The spread of the virus at the mine has reportedly led to the

Top-ranked bidder battles LHDA over tender withdrawal

Favouritism and abuse of power alleged in ‘M396m’ dam contract SECHABA MOKHETHI A construction venture is suing the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) after it withdrew a multimillion-maloti contract for works on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project for the second time. The joint venture, DYNAP, argues that the second withdrawal of the contract,

Co-op Lesotho flips its stance on Strafor…withdraws lawsuit

MATIISETSO MOSALA Co-op Lesotho has backpedaled on its position against Strafor, withdrawing a lawsuit challenging farmers eviction from its commercial land and buildings after being arm-twisted to sublease contested property to the multinational. Initially farmers were evicted from Co-op Lesotho’s property after a unilateral agreement was entered into by the Ministry of