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Members of Parliament (MPS) took a familiarisation tour of the new parliament building at the top of Mpilo Hill in Maseru on Tuesday.

The seemingly excited MPS toured all the offices which include that of the Prime Minister and of the Speaker of the National Assembly among others where they expressed their different views.

In an interview, chief whip Mr. Thabang Pheko said the purpose of the familiarisation tour was for the members to see the progress that has been made thus far, saying that they are impressed.

On the other hand, the leader of the Lesotho Workers Party (LWP) Mr. Macaefa Billy also expressed joy with the new parliament building, saying it is situated at an ideal place with a good view of the city and this he added is likely to change members way of thinking.

Furthermore, Mr. Serialong Qoo who is a member of Parliament for Malingoaneng constituency said he is very impressed noting that it is even more fulfilling to realise that the seating capacity has increased substantially.

Mr. Lesenyeho Ramalitse, Senior Technical Officer from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport said the construction work has been completed and that the contractor is now left with landscaping and Parade Square, which he said will take about a month to complete.

He said among many things which this modern parliament building will have is the statue of Paramount chief Griffith Lerotholi who contributed a lot in the country's democratic processes.

Mr. Ramalitse said the building is constructed in such way that will withstand earthquakes and strong winds.

Furniture is being supplied and installed in many of the offices.

The Senate building will be constructed separately with all the facilities required which will be similar to those of the National Assembly.

The new parliament building is a donation from the Chinese government which has paid up to M85 million for its construction while Lesotho government paid between M30 to M40 Million.

The money from the government was used to construct access roads, connect water, telephones and electricity as well as levelling the site in preparation for the construction.

It is a five storey building and the National Assembly has a seating capacity of 240 while 80 seats are for the public gallery. There are also monitors in the National Assembly in which the pictures of members are displayed while they are speaking.

The National assembly is designed like a traditional roundavel or Basotho hat.

Other recreational facilities will also be constructed as well as a parliamentary village near the building.

Source: LENA 23/03/2010

Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology

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