Where is SADC going with Lesotho?
(3) that all army personnel held at the Maseru Maximum Security Prison on suspicion of mutiny be granted amnesty and be released forthwith, (4) that all exiled opposition leaders, soldiers and others return to Lesotho through the facilitation of the government of Lesotho.
In the eyes of the whole world and Basotho, it is surprising that after several Double Troika and SADC Summit none of these decisions have been implemented.
In addition, the facilitator unlike dealing with the previous coalition government on SADC decisions, is seemingly unable to reign in government to implement these decisions.
Therefore, this begs the question whether in contrast to what Presi- dent Zuma said at that January Summit, SADC has decided to forsake Basotho.
For all I care, I still maintain Basotho and the entire world still has full confidence in the commitment, ability and efficacy of SADC processes.
The regional body has been known in the past to have enforced its decisions on the formation of the coalition government in Zimbabwe, the banning of the two warring leaders in Madagascar from taking part in that country’s elections and indeed, the enforcement of a new electoral model, the re-instatement of the dethroned King and the hold- ing of a snap general election, all enforced in Lesotho.
Despite all these precedents on SADC’S ability to prevail over member countries’ regimes to toe the line, the latest general perception among Basotho is of a regional body that is dithering on the Lesotho impasse and finally, likely to forsake Basotho.
However, I beg to differ for the following reasons:
One, SADC has already expended too many resources, money, time and human, to simply abandon Lesotho.
Two, precedent of previous SADC conduct all point to a SADC enforced solution.
Three, the integrity, credibility and efficacy of SADC both internationally and regionally, including domestically, is at stake.
Four, the international pressure coming from the US, EU, AU, UN, Common-wealth and other organisations and governments on SADC is unbearable.
Five, South Africa, SADC’S only regional power has too much at stake in Lesotho.
Six, the fact that the Lesotho impasse is still on the SADC agenda is a huge positive.
Seven, economic intervention is still an option.
Eight, diplomacy is too much of a slow and confidential process for us ordinary folks, to fully appreciate.
Nine, abandoning the Lesotho impasse without a solution would set a catastrophic precedence on the image of SADC internationally and regionally.
Ten, solving Lesotho’s impasse would fortify the argument for a home-grown solutions for a regional problem and enhance SADC’S integrity and image throughout the world.
However, despite all these conclusions, the delay by SADC has admittedly been inordinate.
In conclusion, therefore, despite the public perception of dithering, inertia and apparent disinterest, Basotho should draw inspiration on the basis of the above reasons that SADC has not abandoned Basotho.