Connect with us


Chaos rocks reforms indaba



MASERU – THERE was chaos at the reforms meeting yesterday after political parties vehemently refused to sign a pledge to expedite the national reforms.

The pledge was presented by SADC’s Envoy to Lesotho, Retired Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who wanted the politicians to commit to finalising the national reforms before parliament is dissolved in July.

Some political parties however felt that Justice Moseneke had ambushed them and was trying to get them to sign the pledge without consultation.

Others felt that they should have been allowed to participate in the drafting of the pledge. Some argued that they needed time to consult their party leaders who were not at the meeting. The leaders of the Basotho Action Party (BAP, All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Alliance of Democrats (AD) did not attend the meeting.

Their proxies argued that they could not sign the pledge without consulting the leaders. Despite cajoling from Moseneke and heated exchange amongst themselves, the politicians refused to sign the pledge. This forced Justice Moseneke to compromise and postpone the issue to next Friday.

Minister of Law Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane told thepost last night the politicians agreed in principle that the reforms should be finalised but had reservations about the timing of the pledge.

The future of the reforms hinge on an omnibus bill of constitutional amendments that had been stuck in parliament amid fierce quarrels among MPs. Advocate Rakuoane time is already running out for parliament to pass the omnibus bill. He said “it will be a disaster if the reforms are not passed”.

“SADC will abandon us. Even the Millennium Challenge Compact that we are celebrating depends on those reforms because they are crucial to the political stability of this country,” Advocate Rakuoane said.

“It’s time we name and shame those who are trying to delay the reforms. We have already lost four weeks because of the squabbling. We have less than 40 days before parliament is dissolved.”

While politicians were discussing the pledge some irate Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) members were picketing outside the hotel. They were demanding that their leader Mothetjoa Metsing, who fled to South Africa after being charged with treason, be allowed to return to Lesotho before the reforms are passed.

Some of them briefly disrupted the meeting after they barged into the venue. The incensed LCD members were holding placards written different messages like “Hands off Metsing”, “Respect SADC agreement and bring back Metsing”, “No Metsing, no reforms” and “Ha re likhutsana”.

The disruption was however short-lived. The LCD deputy leader Tšeliso Mokhosi said they wrote a letter to the SADC facilitation team asking for their intervention.

“We will hand him the letter in the evening,” Mokhosi said.

He said they have appealed to the SADC facilitation team to ensure that Metsing returns home before the elections.

“We are saying the reforms should be complete and then the cases should continue after,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Copyright © 2022. The Post Newspaper. All Rights Reserved