Govt dodged bul­let at SADC sum­mit - An­a­lysts

Lesotho Times - - News -

He says the govern­ment’s bel­liger­ent ap­proach to­wards the re­gional bloc had back­fired af­ter Le­sotho was threat­ened with sus­pen­sion.

“They (coali­tion govern­ment) have learnt the hard way how dan­ger­ous it can be to defy SADC. The govern­ment needs to im­ple­ment the Troika’s rec­om­men­da­tions to en­sure Le­sotho emerges from this cri­sis as a united na­tion at peace with it­self and fo­cused on de­vel­op­ment,” says Dr Kapa.

“While it’s un­der­stand­able that there are sen­si­tive parts of the re­port that are not for pub­lic con­sump­tion, we ex­pect the rest of the re­port to be pub­lished with­out any al­ter­ations. We also ex­pect all the rec­om­men­da­tions to be fully im­ple­mented even if they may not be for pub­lic con­sump­tion.”

He also urges the re­gional bloc to re­main vig­i­lant in en­sur­ing Le­sotho im­ple­ments the rec­om­mended con­sti­tu­tional, pub­lic sec­tor and se­cu­rity sec­tor re­forms.

“It is paramount for SADC to never lose sight of the hap­pen­ings in Le­sotho. They should al­ways keep an eye on the im­ple­men­ta­tion pro­cesses,” Dr Kapa says.

“It would also be ir­re­spon­si­ble for South Africa as a re­gional be­he­moth to al­low the sit­u­a­tion in Le­sotho to de­te­ri­o­rate any fur­ther.”

He adds that pleas by govern­ment for drought as­sis­tance from de­vel­op­ment part­ners needed to com­men­su­rate with good gov­er­nance and ac­count­abil­ity.

“It would have been very un­wise for the govern­ment to re­ject the SADC Com­mis­sion of In­quiry’s re­port af­ter declar­ing a state of emer­gency last month due to the pre­vail­ing drought,” notes Dr Kapa.

“How do you ask for as­sis­tance and refuse to com­ply with demo­cratic prin­ci­ples at the same time. Surely, that would be a great con­tra­dic­tion.”

Tlo­hang Let­sie, also from the NUL’S political sci­ence depart­ment, agrees with Dr Kapa, adding that SADC had shown it was not a tooth­less bull­dog with its ul­ti­ma­tums to Le­sotho. He says the de­vel­op­ments in Gaborone left Dr Mo­sisili in a catch-22 sit­u­a­tion.

“Ba­sotho should look at­ten­tively at the govern­ment’s re­ac­tion to the di­rec­tives made by SADC. Dr Mo­sisili will now have to choose be­tween obey­ing SADC’S rec­om­men­da­tions or con­tin­u­ing to pro­tect cer­tain el­e­ments aligned with the coali­tion govern­ment,” Mr Let­sie says.

“The coali­tion govern­ment is mainly com­posed of the Demo­cratic Congress and Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy par­ties which stood by the army dur­ing the height of in­sta­bil­ity in the coun­try.

“Dr Mo­sisili’s re­la­tions with the army and his other al­lies will come un­der greater scru­tiny since the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry’s re­port will most likely deal with se­cu­rity sec­tor re­forms.”

SOME of the lead­ers of the seven-party coali­tion govern­ment lis­ten to Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili (third from right) dur­ing yes­ter­day’s press con­fer­ence.

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