Malijane Morahanye – Lesotho

Malijane Morahanye – Lesotho

Date: June 16, 2012
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Mayor of Maseru Malijane Morahanye is not the kind of person to be pushed around. A retired civil servant who worked as a teacher, schools inspector and then for the Ministry of Finance, she knows the ropes in government – a good basis, she believed, for going into politics. The mayor is also well known in her community as a hard working and successful farmer. “It was time to do something different; to use all this experience I had gathered to improve my country,” she reflected in an interview.

Standing against two male and two female candidates in one of the constituencies in the elections open to both men and women in Lesotho’s 2005 elections, Morahanye counted on her standing as one of her main campaign advantages. “I took my car and criss-crossed the constituency,” she recalled.

Yet on many occasions what should have been a clean campaign turned dirty and personal. “People accused me of being a crook, of not being able to lead, of not being good at politics, of having no experience. I found myself hurt and astounded.” But Morahanye persisted and won. Nine out of 15 of the councillors in Lesotho’s capital city are women. They and the mayor are cited as role models by women in the community.


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