Leav­ing it till late

Lesotho Times - - Leader -

SO the gov­ern­ment would have the na­tion be­lieve that the im­pend­ing de­par­ture of Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli from the helm of the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) is in merely part of its de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment the roadmap of re­forms.

As we re­port else­where, Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary Le­bo­hang Ramohlanka an­nounced this week that Lt-gen Kamoli would re­tire and hand over com­mand of the LDF to his deputy Ma­jor-gen­eral Khoan­tle Motšo­motšo on 1 De­cem­ber 2016.

Ms Ramohlanka said the de­ci­sion was made af­ter negotiations “on a mu­tu­ally agree­able so­lu­tion” re­gard­ing Lt-gen Kamoli’s fu­ture.

And Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili’s spokesper­son Mo­tumi Rale­joe said in all this, the gov­ern­ment was merely fol­low­ing a roadmap it sub­mit­ted to the 36th Or­di­nary South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) Sum­mit of Heads of State held in Swazi­land in Au­gust this year.

The re­al­ity is prob­a­bly not as sim­ple as that, com­ing as it did shortly af­ter the visit by US As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for African Af­fairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield who said Le­sotho risked los­ing out on the African Growth and Op­por­tu­nity Act (AGOA) fa­cil­ity and a sec­ond com­pact grant un­der the Mil­len­nium Chal­lenge Cor­po­ra­tion (MCC) due to gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to ad­dress is­sues of “im­punity and the rule of law”.

AGOA gives duty-free and quota-free ac­cess to the US mar­ket to el­i­gi­ble Sub-sa­ha­ran African coun­tries in­clud­ing Le­sotho.

The ques­tion is why en­gage in this kind of brinkman­ship where we risk the jobs and liveli­hoods of tens of thou­sands of Ba­sotho just to serve the in­ter­ests of just one in­di­vid­ual?

Did we re­ally need to sub­ject our­selves to all this un­nec­es­sary pres­sure to do what we could have eas­ily done in the be­gin­ning in line with SADC rec­om­men­da­tions? We can only hope the les­son has been learnt and hence­forth there will be un­in­ter­rupted progress in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of out­stand­ing re­forms.

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