Media and local government

Access To Information

Government’s stop on licenses halts community radio project

In 2015, MISA Lesotho, supported by Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa (OSISA), started assisting three communities to establish their own radio stations in a view to catalysing vibrancy in information exchange and debate for community development.

The project covering Mokhotlong, Semonkong and Quthing communities is, however, being frustrated by a moratorium on the issuance of broadcast licenses granted two years ago.

In each of the communities, the community members’ commitment is evident in that in Mokhotlong and Semonkong the project was allocated a plot where MISA Lesotho has constructed and completed studios. In the district of Quthing, the office of the District Administrator gave a house that was converted to a complete studio.

Equipment for the three radio stations was bought a year and half ago and it is yet to be installed because no broadcasting license has been granted.

The project was supposed to have ended in March, 2017. Due to the moratorium, the donor has agreed to a no-cost extension until March 2018 banking on the promise of the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Joang Molapo to suspend the moratorium by first quarter of the 2018.

Quthing community

Quthing community’s lively celebration of Press Freedom Day

On the 7th of May through rains and cold weather MISA Lesotho together with Quthing community commemorated  World Press Freedom Day to mobilise the community to qualify for application for a community radio as per Communication Act 2012 (as amended).

Quthing community gathered in its multicultural and linguistic nature of Xhosa, Phuti, Ndebele and Basotho.

The occasion was entertained by one of most promising local artist born from the district, Stlofa and it was graced by the District Administrator Seiso Moshoeshoe, Member of the parliament for Moyeni constituency, Honourable Mahooana Khati, Chairperson of the District Council  Machabe Machabe and chief Motsarapane Nkuebe.

Challenged buy Quthing Community Radio Station Steering Committee’s Chairperson Ms Anna Shale, the parliamentarian  Hounarable Khati pledged M5000.00 in contribution to construction of the studios’ and in the same occasion he paid M500.00 upfront  and by the end of the occasion a total of M980.00 was collected. The community needs M32000.00 for the whole project.

Details regarding contribution towards the establishment of the radio station can be accessed on

Quthing Commmunity Radio Station is established under Access To Information Through Community Radio Station Project by MISA Lesotho supported by Open Society  Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

Better access to information by founding community stations

Better access to information by founding community stations

MISA Lesotho held a one-day governance and management training workshops for the steering committees of the Quthing and Semonkong community radio stations in February 2016.

The workshops are part of a series of capacity building initiatives aimed at empowering the communities of Mokhotlong, Quthing and Semonkong to establish community radio stations.

MISA Lesotho is working with the district administrators of Mokhotlong and Quthing districts, as well as Maseru district administrator through the Semonkong Urban Council.

MISA Lesotho and Open Society Initiative for Africa are working together to establishing community radio stations as a way of giving rural communities access to the information they need to make informed decisions in their day-to-day life.

In the training workshops, the steering committees also reviewed plan of actions they drew up in November and December 2015. They revisited these plans of action in order to establish whether or not they still within the time-frame and mandate set in 2015.

The reviews noted that satisfactory progress has been made by the three steering committees so far. MISA Lesotho is confident that with the pace and dedication of the committee members, the three community radio stations will be on-air by May 2016 in in time for commemoration of World Press Freedom Day.

launching of Moeling Community Radio Station

MISA Lesotho launches Moeling FM community radio station

Media Institute of Southern Africa Lesotho chapter (MISA Lesotho) has marked the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day with the launch of Butha-Buthe Community Radio; Moeling FM in the Butha-Buthe district in the north of the country.

The radio station is the country’s fourth community radio after Motjoli FM (Thaba-Tseka Community Radio), Mafeteng Community Radio and DOPE FM of the National University of Lesotho.

The event was graced with the presence and speeches by the newly appointed Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Khotso Letsatsi; Lesotho Communications Authority Chief Executive Office, Manehela Phosholi; Head of Media and Research of the Institute of Extra Mural Studies, Mabela Khabele; Butha-Buthe District Administrator, Lehlohonolo Qhasho, Moeling FM inventor, Taoana Lerole and MISA Lesotho National Director, Tsebo Mats’asa.

Moeling FM is a brainchild of Taoana Lerole, a radio set repairer in Mabothile, a village on the outskirts of Butha-Buthe town.

Lerole, who only completed Standard 6, put together pieces of radio sets together to build a radio station in 2012.

The radio was taken off air the same year as it was operating without a license. (It is illegal for anyone to operate a radio station in Lesotho without registering it with the Lesotho Communications Authority.)

The radio station also did not have standard equipment and was operated from Lerole’s family home with the antenna mounted on a tree at a backyard of house. The transmitter was made of a DVD player.

In effort to assist Lerole to achieve his dream of his home town having a radio station, the UNESCO Commission in Lesotho advanced a helping hand with funds.

The UNESCO Commission can not assist individuals; therefore the community of Butha-Buthe was advised to support and join Lerole’s project through their indigenous groups to secure funding.

UNESCO thereafter approached MISA Lesotho to oversee the project and help with the design and construction of the radio studio.

The station is now located in the staff residential house of the office of the district administrator, which had been empty for a year before the station moved in.

As well as providing technical and project management support for the establishment of the studio, MISA Lesotho also provided governance training to Moeling FM’s new Board Members on how to run a community radio station.

MISA Lesotho also provided training to the newly appointed radio presenters. The purpose of the training was to equip the volunteers with skills to professionally produce programmes of good quality.

During the celebration, Lerole was also awarded a certificate and trophy in recognition of his innovation.

For more information, please contact:

Tsebo Mats’asa, National Director