The African Leadership Academy congratulates alumnus Mope Khati ’11, who has won a seat in the recent Lesotho national elections. A candidate for the Revolution for Prosperity Party (Thalaboliba ea Ntlafatso), he now becomes the MP for the Pela Ts’oeu constituency based in the northern part of the country.
Khati is one of the leaders of the new RFP party formed by mining magnate Sam Matekane in March 2022 which has swept into power in the national elections on a campaign of eradicating corruption and changing the recent climate of political instability in the small mountain kingdom. (RPP is in a coalition government with the Alliance of Democrats and Movement for Economic Change.)
“I have always known I would be involved in leadership in my country. I have been preparing for the long time for a role in shaping the future of Lesotho,” says Khati.
After graduating from ALA in 2013, Khati initially joined Earth University in Costa Rica to study agriculture. However, he soon switched to the African Leadership University to benefit from its robust entrepreneurship and leadership education. He graduated from ALU in 2019 with a degree in electrical engineering and returned to Lesotho where he participated in community upliftment projects. But he believed this was not enough and began to look for ways to be involved in politics, where the policies that shape the future of constituencies and country are made.
“I planned to join politics in 2027, but Sam Matekane started the RFP with a promise to make a difference. People usually join politics in order to enrich themselves, but I wanted better. These are people who know how to be successful in business, who could have taken their money to other countries, but have decided that it is time to put Lesotho on a positive path. The people in the constituency approached me to say I should consider joining this new party, as they were aligned with what I was already doing in the community,” he says.
Khati was selected as a candidate for the RPP following a grueling vetting process, which the national structure of the party put in place to ensure they were taking the best candidates possible to the polls. He prevailed in his election, coming ahead of experienced politicians.
Khati says one of the lessons he has carried with him since his days at ALA has been the need for humility. “My ability to relate to people is what has made me stand apart in the elections,” he says. “My political opponents struggled to bring themselves down to the level of the people. At ALA, we were taught human-centered entrepreneurship, which means you have to build solutions according to what people need, not what you think they need. This has been quite helpful to me, as my political campaign was all about hearing the needs of the people and working with them rather than just making empty promises.”
Khati is the second ALA alumnus to win a seat in a national parliament, following Senator Eddy Oketch ’08, who won a seat in the Kenya Senate in August 2022.