By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – Hon. Tšepang Tšita-Mosena, the Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly of Lesotho recently participated in an elections peace-building mission in Liberia on invitation to the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) which aims at promoting a peaceful and inclusive electoral processes in African countries.

She was invited in her own personal capacity as a woman who has held various leadership positions both nationally, regionally and continentally, to join other Eminent Women who strive for peace and leadership in their various capacities.

The 2023 Liberia elections saw Hon. Mosena took an active part in the peace march on the eve of elections, and met some of the 5 000 observers and various stakeholders to plan and manage a peaceful election where the President George Weah and the Leader of Opposition Joseph Boakai seemed to have amassed a large majority of the votes. The elections were held on the 10th October and counting of the results from the 15 counties is ongoing.

Last week Friday the Deputy Speaker was awarded the Judge Emma Shannon Walter Medal for her work ethic and service to women and Africa. The award recognizes Rule of Law, Good Governance & Patriotism. Thé évent took place at the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) offices in Liberia where four other Eminent Women from Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria were also awarded the same.

The WSR is part of the ABIC, which is a pioneering initiative that has played a significant role in ensuring peaceful elections in various African countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Hon. Mosena was originally invited to partake in the peacekeeping of the 2021 elections in Uganda, as her first assignment being part of the Eminent Women in the WSR.

Its approach involves a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy, bringing together women leaders, political parties, security agencies, election management bodies, and other key actors to support and advocate for peaceful elections.

The WSR concept was initiated in 2011 by Counselor Yvette Chesson-Wureh, the Coordinator for ABIC, an NGO specializing in women’s rights, empowerment, and leadership, which has been adopted by the African Union as a unique mechanism that seeks to prevent conflict before, during, and after elections.

The initiative also seeks to combat hate speech, and political violence and enhance peaceful co-existence during and after the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

It serves as a neutral space where women can monitor the electoral process, mitigate tensions, and mediate disputes.  The WSR ensures that women’s voices are heard, and their concerns addressed, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and peaceful electoral environment.