By Thoboloko Ntšonyane
MASERU- Lesotho is once again in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Oversight Committee on Reforms agenda following the recent political developments that are unfolding in the country.
Today the SADC delegation led by the President of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema
Who doubles as the SADC Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation has landed in the country to learn first-hand experience the state of the national reforms.
The delegation will be in the country from today, November 1 to 5th during which time it will have an audience with different stakeholders such as the government, members of the Opposition in parliament, presiding officers, civil society actors and diplomatic community amongst others.
In July, the country also received the SADC delegation who also came to learn of progress of the reforms process and it was led by the former President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete.
According to the saving ram by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Thabang Lekhela that this publication had seen, it says “The Mission will be pursuing its mandate of following up on the implementation of the reforms process in the Kingdom of Lesotho”.
Supposition can also be ventured that the delegation will receive the briefing on the ongoing impasse surrounding the developments in the parliament and the reforms process.
This comes after the Prime Minister (PM) Ntsokoane Matekane made a correspondence on October 20 to President Hichilema complaining about the opposition’s move to table a motion of no confidence in his led government. The PM had also sent the special envoy to represent him before the President.
“Your Excellency [Hichilema], it is evident that the motion of no confidence in question is motivated by greed, selfishness and the desire to subvert our democratic norms and principles. Moreover there are certain individuals in Parliament who are determined to destabilize the Government with the ultimate goal of derailing the reforms agenda for their own selfish interests, with little or no regard for the “The Lesotho Want (sic)”.
He further reminded the Chairperson of the commitments he made before the Summit sometime this year.
During the 43rd Ordinary SADC Summit held in Luanda, Angola in August, making his first speech before the Summit, the Prime Minister vowed that Lesotho shall no longer be on the SADC Agenda for “all wrong reasons”.
“We are cognizant of the fact that in order to achieve these noble objectives, we need to change the way we do things. It is in this context that we reiterate our unwavering political commitment to the National Reforms process,” he then said.
The PM further said in the letter that given to the prevailing circumstances, all the efforts he promised to undertake to ensure success of the reforms will be in vain.
It will be recalled that Basotho National Party (BNP) Leader Hon Machesetsa Mofomobe has filed a motion of no confidence in the government and he is seconded by Hon Mootsi Lehata. They are endorsing the Leader of Opposition Hon Mathibeli Mokhothu for the Premiership post.
Three days after the PM’s letter to SADC, the leaders of opposition parties in parliament also wrote to the SADC Executive Secretary Elias Magosi.
Their letter reads “As the leaders of opposition political parties in the Parliament of Lesotho we deem it extremely urgent to communicate to your good office our collective apprehension of unfolding developments which represents an eminent threat to the constitutional order in the Kingdom. We do so in the genuine hope that your intervention may help avert the threat.”
They apprised him of their move to unseat the present government through the motion of no confidence as sanctioned by Section 87 of the Constitution and the National Assembly Standing Order NO 110.
The letter continues: “On 16th October, the nation was treated to a statement read on state-owned radio by Prime Minister Samuel Matekane threatening those Members of Parliament who would dare to vote for the proposed motion. Later that same day Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli flanked by Lt General Mojalefa Letsoela and Mr. Phello Ralenkoane, Director General of National Security Services read a startling statement which shocked the Nation on national television.
“In their joint statement the Security Chiefs blindly declared that no vote of confidence in the government by Parliament would be allowed under their watch. This statement has roundly been condemned by academics, the legal fraternity, civil society organizations and the churches. “
These leaders further told the SADC Executive Secretary that they “have on good authority “of the plan to “effect military takeover” should the motion pass in the National Assembly.
It would be recalled that there is an ongoing court case challenging the motion of no confidence in the government. And once the court has made the determination over this matter, the date for debate will be set.
Matekane had just turned a year in office as he was inaugurated on October 28 last year following the October 7th general elections that ushered in the new government. It is expected that they will also table the report on their findings before SADC for consideration