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Road to a new beginning



Staff Reporter

MASERU – THE new constitution to come out of the reform process will be put to a referendum during the last three months of 2018.

According to the roadmap the government submitted to the SADC secretariat, a Constitution Making Body (CMB) is supposed to have been established by the end of this month.

The secretariat will set up an office, develop a work programme, make operational plans as well as create resource mobilisation and communication strategies.

Around the same time there will be a consultative conference “on the overall Reform Agenda by Government”, according to the mosisiliRoadmap. This will be part of the coalition government’s strategy to build consensus on the formation of the CBM.

If all goes according to the timetable Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili will officially launch the CMB in the next few weeks.

By the end of this year, the Roadmap says, the CBM will be operational and a team would have conducted “a study tour for lessons learned on Constitutional reform from other jurisdictions”.

Although the Roadmap does not say so government officials have hinted that Kenya and South Africa are the likely case studies for the constitutional reform.

Parliament is supposed to have passed a Referendum law by the end of this year.

By March 2018 the CMB is expected to have finished with the constitution’s validation workshops in all districts, incorporated the people’s views and approved the first draft.voters-on-line

In June 2018 the second draft will be published and the CBM will be collecting further comments and views which would be incorporated in the constitution by September of the same year.

This will be followed a public education campaign on the constitution.

By the end of 2018 the CBM would have received public submissions as well as the views of the civic organisations, the parliament and the judiciary.

The final draft will be released a few weeks before the referendum.

The whole reform process will be completed by December 2019.

It will include a review of laws governing the security sector, judiciary and civil service.

There will be a special report on all the laws that need to be reviewed as part of the comprehensive reform process.

If the government insists on following the schedule in the Roadmap it means the reform process will start without the three exiled leaders who have said they will not return home until Lieutenant General General Kamoli is removed.

The Roadmap indicates that the government expects to have finalised General Kamoli’s exit by March next year, by which time much groundwork on the reform process would have been covered.

For instance, the CMB which will drive the constitution-making process would have been appointed.

Who is appointed to that body will be a hotly contested issue among politicians because it is likely to influence how the new constitution will look.

The government would want the opposition leaders to be part of the reform process to give it legitimacy.

At the summit last week SADC reiterated “the urgent need for the return from exile of the opposition leaders that will pave the way for an inclusive participation in the on-going reforms.”

The opposition has already said it believes the reform process should take 18 months at most.

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