The Lesotho Wool and Mohair Growers have petitioned the government to not meddle in its business.
The government of Lesotho wants to pass a law that regulates the sale of wool and mohair. It insists this must be done locally as this will ultimately benefit all Basotho, but the traders say they have not been properly consulted.
“We tried in vain to solve this man-made problem, but previously, the government of Lesotho has chosen to ignore all court orders in our favour, only to impoverish these men and women of merino and angora families,” said Mokoenihi Thinyane.
However, the government says this process is open to negotiations and will ultimately benefit all the stakeholders.
“We have great hope that the government will never shut its doors to enable you farmers to work with it. Even at this juncture, the doors are still open. Even this form of protest is still an acceptable one in the functioning democracy,” said Lesotho Transport Minister, Mahala Molapo.
Some farmers say this exercise has already cost them dearly.
“Look at me; this is how I make money. Where I come from they have started ploughing and I’m unable to start because I can’t buy manure, because I have not been able to trade my merino wool. These people must play politics there at the Parliament.”
The association boasts membership of at least 37 000 farmers with an annual income of no less than R50 000. They insist that if the legislation to regulate the sale of wool and mohair is passed in its current form, it is likely to bear adverse consequences.