Lessons to be learnt from Mosito debacle
And what happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a competent court of law? This commonly accepted legal presumption was regrettably not venerated to the dismay of the wives of detained soldiers in the full glare of the international community — International civil society organizations have echoed their misgivings about this verdict and I need not say anything more.
The fact that diverse factions concurred in key criticisms of the learned judge does not itself validate their critique; each of the said factions (myself included) have their own axe to grind.
In a closely knit political environment like Lesotho, it clearly matters for the ruling regime to “violently” occupy and swal- low up political space and all the channels of institutional government power.
This became manifest upon the assumption of power by the current ruling regime. Principal Secretaries were fired, diplomats endured the same ordeal and all key institutions of government were occupied by those whose political correctness was laid bare.
The ministry of home affairs and various other ministries fired all those who are perceived to be aligned to Thabane’s regime.
Thabane himself fled from his home country twice — first when an alleged attempt on his life and a coup were staged and later when there was still fear for his life and he is about to spent an anniversary away from a country whose government he headed for two and a half years.
The casualties of the ruling regime are either imprisoned or exiled. The single most frightening episode in the short tenure of Mosisili’s coalition government lies in his unwillingness to deal with the issue of the slain former commander of the Lesotho Defence Force and to bring the perpetrators to book.
The man was killed in broad daylight and there are witnesses who remain ready to testify thereof. In the likely event that the said perpetrators are to be charged, the judge at the helm of The Court of Appeal clearly matters to the ruling regime! The Court of Appeal made a decision authored by retired judges a majority of whom are imported from our neighbouring South Africa.
We have in the past complained about the perennial import of judicial services and le- gal practitioners by Lesotho’s government and this complaint has fallen on deaf ears. Of particular relevance is the fact that it undermines our very own competent legal practitioners and members of the bench. Justice Mosito remains as the most qualified Mosotho national whose credentials speak for themselves.
His removal from judicial office is not about his incompetence, inexperience or lack of intellectual wherewithal but about his political incorrectness.
Beyond our political affiliations and convictions we need to look beyond the mirage and realize that the worst compromise to Lesotho’s democracy will manifest itself when the executive is allowed to infiltrate the judiciary…