Les­sons to be learnt from Mos­ito de­ba­cle

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

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…

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.