#Top5atFive: Here’s what’s happening in Lesotho and around the globe

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Here’s your Monday update on a few of the stories that made headlines over the weekend.

1. Local headlines

The Maluti Mountain Brewery (MMB) in collaboration with Independent Basotho Off-sales Association (IBOSA) and the Lesotho Liquor and Restaurants Owners Association (LLROA) has appealed to all local liquor businesses to comply with the recently published Covid-19 regulations, which prohibit the sale of alcohol.

In a joint statement, the trio indicated that despite the standing Government Gazette issued on July 20, there are bars and off-sales that are still open and operating contrary to the regulations.

“We would like to appeal to every liquor business that is still open to comply with the law and close operations as per government’s call as an industry, we encourage all our members and traders to adhere to the new rules and regulations,” they said. 

MMB, IBOSA and LLROA have in the statement remarked that the industry has a wide and deep value chain that contributes an estimated 3 percent to the GDP and employs over 25 000 Basotho, thus shutting it down will take away revenue needed by the government and the nation. They indicated that the liquor industry is therefore in the process of engaging with the government and the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) to find solutions to support the current government strategy as well as minimising the economic impact on the industry. 

[Liquor businesses urged to comply with regulations, Maseru Metro News]

2. Local headlines

Through their  ‘Futurelife-Now’ programmeMIET Africa donated food parcels to 10 secondary schools in the districts of Maseru, Leribe, Mafeteng and Berea. The food parcels included 12.5 kg maize meal, 12.5 kg bread flour, 5kg beans and 2litres cooking oil.

MIET Africa is a forward-thinking non-profit African education organization that aims to improve the lives of children and youth through supporting the provision of quality education for all. MIET Africa works through its branch called Futurelife-Now programme that builds on the successful care and support for Teaching and Learning.

Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Secondary Education ‘Mabakubung Seutloali said the donations will be offered to 1068 students from the secondary schools across the four districts. She further highlighted that the 10 schools were selected by the MoET following MIET Africa’s findings that most students from these schools are affected by a number of social issues that included teenage pregnancy, child marriage, sexual abuse among others. “We then worked together with these schools to ensure that the deserving students do receive these food parcels,” she added.

On behalf of the recipients Refiloe Malingoane from Thetsane High School thanked MIET Africa. He said they are not even able to do spot jobs to put food on the table because of the restrictions. “I am from a family of six children and both our parents are no longer alive. We have been struggling to get food a lot since this pandemic started but thanks to the Futurelife-Now programme we will at least have something to eat this month,” he said.

[MIET Africa donates to 10 schools, Informative News]

3. Global headlines

Somalia’s parliament removed Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire from his post in a vote of no confidence on Saturday for failing to pave the way towards fully democratic elections, the speaker said. A whopping 170 of parliament’s 178 MPs backed the no confidence motion, and Khaire’s ouster was immediately endorsed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who had appointed him as prime minister in February 2017.

“The president of the federal government of Somalia… will appoint a prime minister and a government which will pave the way for elections,” he added.

The office of the president issued a statement indicating that Farmajo would nominate a new prime minister soon. 

“I have decided to accept the decision of the parliament,” the president said in the statement. The fragile central government, chaired by Farmajo, controls only a part of Somali territory and is facing an insurgency from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab militant group.

Somalia has set itself the goal of holding a one-person, one-vote national election in early 2021 — as opposed to a complex system in which special delegates pick lawmakers who then vote for the president — in what would be its first full democratic election since 1969.

[Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire axed in no-confidence vote, News24]

4. In lifestyle

Award-winning artist Taylor Swift released a surprise album titled folklore on Thursday and broke streaming records across the world in under 24-hours .

In addition to the album drop, Swift also released a music video for Cardigan, which she wrote and directed. In under 24 hours, the eight studio album sold over 1.3 million copies around the world. It also shattered “the global record for first-day album streams on Spotify by a female artist” with 80.6 million streams and delivered “the most-streamed pop album on Apple Music in 24 hours” with 35.47 million streams. 

Additionally, folklore set the U.S. and Worldwide Amazon Music Indie/Alternative Streaming Record. 

[Taylor Swift’s folklore breaks 24-hour streaming records, News24]

5. What we’re reading

In this timely piece, Mamello Makhele reports that “the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and given rise to a new, deeply concerning wave of rape culture in Lesotho. Although the true extent is not known yet, we have noticed concerning reports that the onset of the pandemic has worsened sexual violence with more women and girls being confined to small living places whilst social tensions are exacerbated.” It is an insightful and worthwhile read, we highly recommend it. 

[Challenging Cultural Norms and Removing Stigma is Key to Confronting Lesotho’s Rape Culture, Selibeng

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Matlhabeli Molaoli
Matlhabeli is a reader, an Afro-feminist and a firm believer in the power of human-centered design to create lasting social-economic impact. She is a rising junior at Smith College where she majors in both Biochemistry and Anthropology and also dabbles in venture consulting for the local start-up ecosystem. Matlhabeli also enjoys dialogue so she has spent much of her time attending, speaking at and organising TEDx conferences in both Lesotho and South Africa during her time as a student at the African Leadership Academy.