Civil so­ci­ety laments ab­sence of lo­cal ‘ex­perts’ on peace mission

Lesotho Times - - Elections 2015 - Billy Ntaote

Se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity, he added, are re­flected in the eco­nomic devel­op­ment of a na­tion.

“This is why se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity have di­rect, long-term ef­fects on the cre­ation of a sound, com­pet­i­tive eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment that has a pos­i­tive im­pact on the cit­i­zenry and so­ci­ety as a whole.

“A BNP gov­ern­ment is go­ing to en­sure this is pos­si­ble, hence you should vote for the party on 28 Fe­bru­ary.”

Chief ‘Maserib­ane re­called how for­mer BNP leader and Prime Min­is­ter, Le­abua Jonathan, was friends with African Na­tional Congress leader, Oliver Tambo, dur­ing South Africa’s apartheid era.

Chief Jonathan led Le­sotho from 7 July 1965 un­til he was topped by the mil­i­tary on 20 Jan­uary 1986.

How­ever, Chief ‘Maserib­ane told Sun­day’s rally the friend­ship which ex­isted be­tween Chief Jonathan and South Africa’s an­ti­a­partheid lead­ers should ben­e­fit Le­sotho’s cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions as Ba­sotho paid a very high price for the re­la­tion­ship.

“The re­la­tion­ship that our leader, Chief Jonathan, had with Tambo, should be re­vived so that our peo­ple ben­e­fit from the South Af- LE­SOTHO Coun­cil of Non-gov­ern­men­tal Or­gan­i­sa­tions ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, Se­abata Mot­samai, has lamented the ab­sence of lo­cal “ex­perts” in re­gional ef­forts to re­store sta­bil­ity to the trou­bled king­dom.

Mr Mot­samai told a press con­fer­ence in Maseru on Mon­day the de­ci­sion to ex­clude lo­cals from the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC)’S peace mission in Le­sotho could have dire con­se­quences for the coun­try as it goes for snap elec­tions on 28 Fe­bru­ary.

Mr Mot­samai added lo­cals had a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal dy­nam­ics and the sit­u­a­tion on the ground, and would have en­hanced Cyril Ramaphosa’s fa­cil­i­ta­tion in re­turn­ing Le­sotho to sta­bil­ity.

“Civil so­ci­ety has not been in­cluded in the fa­cil­i­ta­tion process in line with the re­quest we sub­mit­ted to the SADC sum­mit held in Zim­babwe last year. We be­lieve if civil so­ci­ety is not in­volved, then church-lead­ers must be part of Mr Ramaphosa’s mission.

“There is need to have some­one ri­can econ­omy. For South Africa to be where it is to­day, our peo­ple con­trib­uted im­mensely to its strug­gle against op­pres­sion.

“Some of our peo­ple died be­cause of that fight against apartheid, which only ended with in­de­pen­dence in 1994.

“To make sure our peo­ple also ben­e­fit from South Africa’s econ­omy, we will ne­go­ti­ate for the labour laws of our two coun­tries to be har­monised. This will make it eas­ier for our peo­ple to work in South Africa with­out be­ing sub­jected to ex­ploita­tion be­cause of lack of proper with a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the lo­cal po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment in the fa­cil­i­ta­tion, and that some­one or or­gan­i­sa­tion must be able to take any cul­prit to task in the ab­sence of the SADC Fa­cil­i­ta­tor,” said Mr Mot­samai.

How­ever, Mr Mot­samai hailed the South African deputy pres­i­dent for achiev­ing “at least 70 per­cent” of his mission since SADC asked him to me­di­ate in the coali­tion gov­ern­ment lead­ers’ dis­pute over the ex­tent of Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s pow­ers.

“If we take stock of what Mr Ramaphosa has been here for, you will re­alise he was able to achieve about 70 per­cent of his man­date. He man­aged to have par­lia­ment re-opened (last Oc­to­ber af­ter it had been pro­rogued for nine months by Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane on doc­u­men­ta­tion,” Chief ‘Maserib­ane said.

Mean­while, the BNP leader also said tourism would be one of the cor­ner­stones of Le­sotho’s econ­omy un­der his gov­ern­ment.

“Tourism is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing an im­por­tant tool in pro­mot­ing eco­nomic growth, al­le­vi­at­ing poverty, and ad­vanc­ing food se­cu­rity. First of all, it rep­re­sents an op­por­tu­nity for eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly in mar­ginal ar­eas with few other ex­port op­tions. Tourists are at­tracted to re­mote ar­eas with high val­ues of cul­tural, wildlife and 10 June 2014), and also suc­ceeded in send­ing Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao and Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Khothatso Tšooana on leave-of-ab­sence (in Novem­ber 2014 as a way of end­ing ten­sion be­tween the Le­sotho De­fence Force and Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice).

“How­ever, we also need to em­pha­sise that part of his man­date was to nor­malise re­la­tions be­tween the army and po­lice, but there is still ten­sion be­tween the two agen­cies. Also re­la­tions be­tween the coali­tion gov­ern­ment part­ners (Dr Tha­bane, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing and Sports Min­is­ter Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane) are still sour,” said Mr Mot­samai.

“Again, only last week, we wit­nessed an un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent where Joang Mo­lapo (Home Af­fairs

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