For Kamoli

Lesotho Times - - News -

“The truth is that these lead­ers did not flee in fear of Gen­eral Kamoli. The se­quence of events alone will suf­fice to ex­pose this fal­lacy. The for­mer Prime Min­is­ter and the Leader of the BNP fled to South Africa on 18th and 20th May 2015 re­spec­tively, fol­low­ing the ar­rests of many mutiny sus­pects.

“Gen­eral Kamoli was only re­in­stated later, on 21st May 2015. That is, they fled be­fore he was re­in­stated. Also in their me­dia state­ments at the time, these lead­ers never men­tioned Gen­eral Kamoli as their rea­son for flee­ing. So the truth is that they were not flee­ing from Gen­eral Kamoli. If the Com­mis­sion had taken the trou­ble to es­tab­lish this se­quence of events, it would have un­cov­ered this fal­lacy,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

The op­po­si­tion lead­ers, he added, only sought refuge in South Africa to fur­ther their po­lit­i­cal agenda.

“These lead­ers live in South Africa in or­der to achieve their own po­lit­i­cal ends. It is clear that if they come home, they will be­come or­di­nary back­benchers, thereby los­ing the at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. The only way to con­tinue to at­tract this at­ten­tion is to stay in ex­ile. In other words, they have a stronger po­lit­i­cal voice when they are in ex­ile. The point is that they have found in the re­port of this Com­mis­sion, os­ten­si­bly cred­i­ble grounds for their con­tin­ued self-ex­ile. This is re­gret­table,” he said.

On the is­sue of se­cu­rity in­sta­bil­ity, Dr Mo­sisili said there was noth­ing to prove that Lt-gen Kamoli’s reap­point­ment led to the coun­try’s in­se­cu­rity.

“In para­graph 116 page 50, the Com­mis­sion said ‘the reap­point­ment of Lieu­tenan­tGen­eral Kamoli was pre­ceded by grave po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity in­sta­bil­i­ties that be­sieged the King­dom of Le­sotho dur­ing the reign of Dr T Tha­bane. The in­sta­bil­i­ties reached a crescendo when the then Prime Min­is­ter re­moved Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Kamoli and ap­pointed Bri­gadier Ma­hao as LDF Com­man­der. That spelt the col­lapse of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tha­bane’s Coali­tion govern­ment and re­sulted in brought-for­ward elec­tion ne­go­ti­ated through a SADC in­ter­ven­tion’.

“Con­trary to the Com­mis­sion’s view above, the real rea­sons for the col­lapse of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tha­bane’s Coali­tion govern­ment were of a c and par­lia­men­tary na­ture. They had noth­ing to do with the re­moval and/or ap­point­ment of the LDF Com­man­der.”

On the Com­mis­sion’d rec­om­men­da­tions, Dr Mo­sisili said: “The Phumaphi Re­port makes five rec­om­men­da­tions. In or­der to make for a log­i­cal se­quence of my pre­sen­ta­tion un­der this head­ing, I have ar­ranged my dis­cus­sion of these rec­om­men­da­tions in an or­der that is dif­fer­ent from the one in the re­port. It is as fol­lows: Amnesty for Mutiny Sus­pects; Con­sti­tu­tional Re­form; Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions on the Death of Bri­gadier Ma­hao; Sus­pen­sions for LDF Of­fi­cers; Re­moval of Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Kamoli as LDF Com­man­der.

“In con­nec­tion with the mat­ter of amnesty for the mutiny sus­pects, it would seem that the Com­mis­sion is in­clined to deny the very ex­is­tence of a mutiny plot, ar­riv­ing at the con­clu­sion that the whole case of mutiny is ‘highly sus­pect’. How­ever, as in­di­cated, the high­est court of Le­sotho ruled that in fact, there is a case to an­swer on the mutiny plot. Be that as it may, the Com­mis­sion makes its rec­om­men­da­tion on this mat­ter as fol­lows, ‘In these cir­cum­stances, we rec­om­mend a fa­cil­i­ta­tion of an amnesty that will cover the de­tained mutiny sus­pects and en­sure the safe re­turn of all mem­bers of the LDF who have fled Le­sotho in fear for their lives’. As in­di­cated above, the ba­sis for this rec­om­men­da­tion is very shaky. How­ever, the idea of an amnesty is quite at­trac­tive. Con­ceived prop­erly, its ba­sic in­ten­tion is to cre­ate con­di­tions for peace and sta­bil­ity. It seeks to bring clo­sure to a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with re­crim­i­na­tions and counter-re­crim­i­na­tions, and paves the way to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and heal­ing. It aims to bring both the minds and the hearts of war­ring fac­tions to­gether, paving the way to a new and con­struc­tive en­gage­ment.

“Its ef­fect is to bring an end to de­struc­tive scram­ble and cre­ate new hope, thereby un­leash­ing pos­i­tive en­ergy.”

How­ever, the “glar­ing weak­ness” of this rec­om­men­da­tion, he said, was that “it pro­poses par­don for one side of the di­vide, and an­guish for the other; amnesty for those sus- pected of mu­nity, and sus­pen­sions for those sus­pected of mur­der and trea­son.”

This, he said, would be “in­sen­si­tive and un­wise” , adding govern­ment felt “a wide ap­pli­ca­tion of this rec­om­men­da­tion in the form of a gen­eral amnesty that cov­ers all these of­fi­cers would go some dis­tance in paving the way to last­ing peace and tran­quil­ity.”

But he warns of the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of such a par­don.

“It must be noted that nor­mally the ba­sis of an amnesty is full dis­clo­sure, and that care must be ex­er­cised that the grant of amnesty does not en­gen­der im­punity in the dis­ci­plined forces. This is all the more so when the Court of Ap­peal has de­ter­mined that the of­fi­cers for whom the Com­mis­sion rec­om­mends amnesty, in fact, do have a case to an­swer. The view to let the law take its course and the ac­cused have their day in court is equally quite com­pelling,” he said.

On the is­sue of re­forms, Dr Mo­sisili said the process had al­ready started.

“In Septem­ber 2015, govern­ment sub­mit­ted a re­quest to the UNDP in Le­sotho for an ex­pert in Di­a­logue and Con­sen­sus Build­ing in the area of Con­sti­tu­tional Re­form. In Novem­ber work started un­der the aus­pices of the Cabi­net Sub-com­mit­tee on the Con­sti­tu­tion with sup­port from an ad­di­tional ex­pert in con­sti­tu­tion build­ing, also pro­vided by the UNDP,” he noted.

“This process has re­sulted in two doc­u­ments. The first one ar­tic­u­lates steps that will be fol­lowed in build­ing a new con­sti­tu­tion for Le­sotho, which by the way, will be the first con­sti­tu­tion in which Ba­sotho are fully in­volved in its mak­ing through a ref­er­en­dum. The sec­ond doc­u­ment de­tails strate­gies that will be used to ap­proach all stake­hold­ers to lobby them for their full par­tic­i­pa­tion in mak­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion. Both of these doc­u­ments have de­tailed Gantt charts that in­di­cate pre­cisely when ac­tiv­i­ties will com­mence, and when they are ex­pected to be com­pleted. The first doc­u­ment has al­ready been shared with the SADC Sec­re­tariat. It is ex­pected that the of­fi­cial launch will be in July 2016; and that de­pend­ing on how con­sul­ta­tions with stake­hold­ers go, the con­sti­tu­tion build­ing process will start in Novem­ber 2016.”

On the shoot­ing of Lt-gen Ma­hao, the prime min­is­ter said the govern­ment sup­ported the rec­om­men­da­tion that it should fa­cil­i­tate crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the killing.

“Govern­ment wholly sup­ports this rec­om­men­da­tion, not only be­cause it is rec­om­mended by the Com­mis­sion, but more im­por­tantly be­cause it is the right thing to do in pur­suance of the rule of law,” he said.

“Hav­ing said that, I wish to in­di­cate that the is­sue of in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Le­sotho is guided by a time-tested in­ter­na­tional pro­ce­dure. The po­lice make com­pre­hen­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tions. They pass their find­ings to the pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­ity, which in Le­sotho, is the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions (DPP). The DPP ex­am­ines these find­ings to de­ter­mine whether or not there is a case. If there is a case, he pur­sues such a case in the courts of law, and the law fol­lows its course. In this case, govern­ment has al­ready sub­mit­ted the Phumaphi Re­port, to­gether with the Re­port of the Pathol­o­gist, to the po­lice. The po­lice have started with their in­ves­ti­ga­tions. It is ex­pected that the pro­ce­dure de­scribed above will be fol­lowed to its log­i­cal con­clu­sion. The im­por­tance of prompt and de­ci­sive ac­tion on this mat­ter has been duly com­mu­ni­cated to both the DPP and the po­lice au­thor­i­ties.”

Dr Mo­sisili how­ever, said the govern­ment was “un­easy” re­gard­ing rec­om­men­da­tions that LDF of­fi­cers im­pli­cated in crimes should be sus­pended while in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the al­le­ga­tions are tak­ing place.

“I must in­form this Hon­ourable House that govern­ment is quite un­easy about this rec­om­men­da­tion. It is based on in­ci­dents that hap­pened long be­fore the death of Bri­gadier Ma­hao, a time that is out­side the man­date of the Com­mis­sion. It is based on the tes­ti­mony of a wit­ness who was not cros­sex­am­ined. More im­por­tantly, these of­fi­cers were not given the op­por­tu­nity to pre­sent their side of the story in line with the audi al­teram partem prin­ci­ple of nat­u­ral jus­tice. More­over, there is a se­ri­ous el­e­ment of bias if this group is to be sus­pended and in­ves­ti­gated, while an amnesty is be­ing ex­tended to the other group who, for all in­tents and pur­poses, they per­ceive as their ri­vals. All in all, it seems un­com­fort­ably con­tro­ver­sial. It cer­tainly has the po­ten­tial to cause a lot of jus­ti­fied stir and ag­i­ta­tion both in­side and out­side the armed forces,” he said.

“As a re­sult of the above con­sid­er­a­tions, govern­ment is in­clined to in­clude these of­fi­cers in a gen­eral amnesty that cov­ers those sus­pected of mutiny and those im­pli­cated in cases of mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and trea­son. An amnesty is al­ways con­tro­ver­sial. But govern­ment feels that this may be the best thing to do in these cir­cum­stances. All that re­mains is for govern­ment to en­ter into ap­pro­pri­ate con­sul­ta­tions and work out modal­i­ties, in­clud­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive and leg­isla­tive ar­range­ments and pro­ce­dures.”

On the re­moval of Lt-gen Kamoli as army com­man­der, Dr Mo­sisili said the govern­ment doubts his dis­missal would “cure” the al­leged prob­lems in the LDF, but would still en­gage him on the is­sue.

“In con­nec­tion with Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kennedy Kamoli, the Com­mis­sion says, ‘The gen­eral dis­con­tent of some Ba­sotho with the Com­man­der of LDF, Lieu­tenan­tGen­eral Kamoli and the con­duct of the LDF un­der his com­mand is dis­con­cert­ing. In the in­ter­est of restor­ing trust and ac­cep­tance of the LDF to the Ba­sotho na­tion, it is strongly rec­om­mended that Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Kamoli be re­lieved of his du­ties as Com­man­der LDF, and all LDF of­fi­cers im­pli­cated in cases of mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and trea­son be sus­pended while in­ves­ti­ga­tions in their cases pro­ceed in line with in­ter­na­tional best prac­tice.’

“This au­gust House will note that I have dealt con­clu­sively with the is­sue of of­fi­cers im­pli­cated in crimes,’ he said.

“The is­sue of re­liev­ing Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kennedy Kamoli of his du­ties as Com­man­der of the LDF is, by far, the most con­tentious and prob­lem­atic of all the rec­om­men­da­tions of this Com­mis­sion. There are two rea­sons for this. First, and as in­di­cated ear­lier in this state­ment, the rea­sons ad­vanced to mo­ti­vate this rec­om­men­da­tion are highly con­tro­ver­sial and most un­con­vinc­ing. Many of them are plain un­truths. In other words, in the opin­ion of govern­ment, this re­ally is a very big rec­om­men­da­tion chas­ing very lit­tle em­pir­i­cal ev­i­dence. Govern­ment is con­vinced that in spite of the fer­vent and highly spir­ited cam­paign to de­mo­nize and tar­nish his im­age, Gen­eral Kamoli re­mains a com­pe­tent, ded­i­cated and loyal sol­dier whose cre­den­tials are un­ques­tion­able. So it is not ob­vi­ous to us that re­mov­ing him is ac­tu­ally in the best in­ter­est of our coun­try.

“Sec­ond, Gen­eral Kamoli is only part of the gen­eral com­mand of the LDF, al­beit its head. He is not the LDF. Govern­ment deeply doubts this think­ing that the re­moval of one per­son will have the ef­fect of cur­ing all the al­leged ills of the LDF. This is why Govern­ment would much pre­fer a se­cu­rity re­form as op­posed to a once-off ap­proach that tar­gets in­di­vid­u­als.

“Be that as it may, govern­ment has heard the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional ag­i­ta­tions and sub­mis­sions, fu­elled by a very strong neg­a­tive per­cep­tion that has been cre­ated around Gen­eral Kamoli. In the light of this, Govern­ment has de­cided to en­gage Gen­eral Kamoli on a mu­tu­ally agree­able so­lu­tion; and a de­fin­i­tive state­ment will be made in good time, fol­low­ing due process in this re­gard.”

Dr Mo­sisili also re­it­er­ated govern­ment’s “strong re­solve” to im­ple­ment the Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

“There is a strong re­solve on the part of govern­ment to im­ple­ment the rec­om­men­da­tions of this Com­mis­sion. There is solid progress with re­gard to con­sti­tu­tional re­form. In a sim­i­lar vein, to kick-start the process of se­cu­rity re­form, govern­ment has sought and re­ceived as­sis­tance from SADC to fa­cil­i­tate tech­ni­cal work on Se­cu­rity Sec­tor Re­form. Govern­ment hopes to make sig­nif­i­cant progress on all the oth­ers in due course,” he said.

LDF com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.