The Honourable Minister Lebona Lephema appreciated IOM’s support that they have been providing to Basotho Nation for a very long time. He said with Lesotho being landlocked by South Africa (SA), everything is compromised such as the economy of this country, livelihood of Basotho and they are trying their best to see to it that at the end of the day, they can reach a stage whereby Basotho can move freely in and out of SA.
He said IOM at the borders assisted them with security CCTV Cameras, the boom gates and there is also a series of training for front line border officials on document examination, immigration intelligence, passenger assessment and Trafficking in Persons. He said, they have also shown support on on-going cross border meetings with Republic of South Africa. He emphasized that, they still need support from IOM on Integrated Border Management (One stop border post facility at Maseru and Ficksburg Bridge) and introduction of the Midas System.
IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa Mr. Ashraf EI Nour said with all the meetings he has attended ever since he came into this country, it is very clear that migration is really a big deal for Lesotho. He said, it is present in every aspect of the country activities and they are pleased that last year in September, Migration and Development Policy has been approved by the Cabinet. “Clearly for me, migration should be seen as an abler for development,” he said. He further said they have just launched validation of remittances strategy on Thursday with the participation of Central Bank. He added that what needs to be done is to digitalize the dispatch of remittances as it will safe people’s time of travelling just to get access to them.
Director Immigration MS. Mantšebo Motšoanakaba said as immigration department, they have been receiving immense support from IOM as far as 2018 and this made them realize that they play an important role especially for the security of the country as “Immigration is in the Southern African Development Community Region Security Cluster.
Motšoanakaba continued to say that, for them to better manage and make their borders secure they need assistance of robust systems that can be interfaced into other security agencies like National Security Services (NSS) and Police. She noted that with the support they have from IOM, today they have the best immigration officials who are able to intercept traffickers or smugglers.
Lastly, Head of Office IOM Lesotho MS Eriko Nishmura during the courtesy visit said as IOM in Lesotho, they are much aware of Honourable Minister Lephema’s work of visiting the borders regularly and they are very impressed about his leadership on the cross border issues with South African counterparts. She further said the Ministry is really critical for them because of its importance on migration management.