By Mpho Shelile
In the spirit of inclusivity and ownership of the Lesotho National Reforms, the government of Lesotho in collaboration with and the support of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with the Senate and the Political parties held a two day consensus building workshop for the representatives of the Senate and Leaders of political Parties in the National Assembly.
The workshop was held on the 5th and 6th of July to give platform to deliberate, discuss and reach a consensus on the way forward regarding the reinstatement and passage of the Omnibus Bill
Giving opening remarks, the Right Honorable Prime Minister Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane acknowledged the support and the role played by development partners in Lesotho, especially the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He stated that the main agenda of the workshop was to discuss, find understanding and build consensus on a way forward regarding the re-establishment of the omnibus bill.
He also gave emphasis that Lesotho was founded on peace, diplomacy and selflessness but never ending political divisions. He added that the instability recently witnessed has had a negative impact and has polarized this nation. It also affected the economic development of the country. He pledged with those present at the workshop to use the platform to discuss and come up with solutions that will make these national reforms workshop a success, “the time is now for us to turn a new page, rebuild it and turn it into a Lesotho that will be the envy of all. A Lesotho that future generations will be proud of,” said Hon. Prime Minister.
In his speech Hon. Monyane Moleleki said that in the recent years, there has been a growing recognition and acknowledgement that Lesotho needs to undertake extensive national reforms which will ensure its stability and prosperity. Basotho need to stay in a stable, peaceful and secure environment and be assured of their rights, also be confident about the efficiency of service delivery. Those present at the meeting were the Senate, the leaders of the political parties in the National Assembly, the National Reforms Transitional Office and other stakeholders, however, there was lack of representation from the leaders of the opposition, which was believed could hinder the smooth passing of the bill.
The reforms are intended to anchor a future Lesotho that is politically stable, so that every Mosotho can freely attain their aspirations, a future where all institutions and sectors are allowed to excel and are fully accountable under democratic standards and are a source of national pride. A future where three arms of Government work collaboratively and synergistically. And a just society where human rights are fully respected.
Remarks by the United Nations Coordinator Amanda Khozi Mukwashi were that Lesotho was founded by a great man, who had the skills, the sense of justice and loved peace. She said she was pleased with the dedication, energy and the focus the leaders portrayed in trying to ensure that the national reforms process and the omnibus bill sees the light of day, she added that there are three things Basotho need; that is peace, progress and stability. “Nothing that is this great comes without effort and challenges, I urge all those present to never be discouraged and to stay focused on the task at hand and remember that the future of Lesotho lies in your hands. Together you can build a better future for Basotho,” said Mrs. Amanda. When concluding the workshop Hon. Prime Minister acknowledged those who were present at the workshop and also applauded them for the dedication they portrait in working with the matter at hand. He said he has been given reports that the workshop was a success, even though there might have been a few glitches here and there. He is also delighted that they made Basotho piece and puzzled in their decision making, before taking any major leaps and decisions. Their involvement will ensure a better Lesotho. He then pledged to Basotho that they are going to hold another workshop very soon with the purpose of signing of the pledge. The discussions enlightened them on what needs to done, and he is fully adamant in making sure that whatever was discussed will be achieved.