Op­po­si­tion slams PM on SADC stance

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

OP­PO­SI­TION par­ties have ac­cused Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mosisili of be­ing reck­less by “re­sist­ing” de­ci­sions of the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) to de­ploy South African deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and the SADC Over­sight Com­mit­tee to mon­i­tor the po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Le­sotho ahead of next month’s elec­tions.

The op­po­si­tion said Dr Mosisili’s re­sis­tance to SADC de­ci­sions was a sign that his care­taker gov­ern­ment would not ac­cept de­feat in the 3 June 2017 elec­tions.

The polls were an­nounced by King Let­sie III af­ter the op­po­si­tion’s suc­cess­ful no con­fi­dence vote against the seven par­ties coali­tion gov­ern­ment on 1 March.

The SADC Ex­tra-or­di­nary Sum­mit, on 18 March 2017, man­dated the re­gional body’s fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho, Mr Ramaphosa and the SADC Over­sight Com­mit­tee to closely mon­i­tor the po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Le­sotho dur­ing the elec­tions pe­riod.

The sum­mit also man­dated the two struc- tures to hold a multi-stake­holder na­tional di­a­logue ahead of the elec­tions.

This prompted Dr Mosisili to write a damn­ing let­ter last month to SADC chair­per­son King Mswati III of Swazi­land, dis­miss­ing the de­ci­sions of the re­gional body as in­ter­fer­ence with Le­sotho’s sovereignty.

King Mswati III has since re­sponded to Dr Mosisili’s let­ter in­sist­ing the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho should im­ple­ment the SADC de­ci­sions. And in sep­a­rate in­ter­views yes­ter­day with the Le­sotho Times, the spokesper­sons of the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) and Al­liance of Democrats (AD), Tefo Mape­sela and Te­boho Lehloenya re­spec­tively said Dr Mosisili’s ac­tions be­trayed a des­per­a­tion to cling to power at all costs.

Mr Lehloenya said it was sur­pris­ing that Dr Mosisili in­vited SADC to Le­sotho to in­ves­ti­gate the killing of for­mer Le­sotho De­fence Force com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao and “he now re­jects its de­ci­sions to bring back po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity in the coun­try”.

“To start with, Ntate Mosisili and his care­taker gov­ern­ment should no longer be mak­ing se­ri­ous de­ci­sions on be­half of the na­tion be­cause the peo­ple have long lost con­fi­dence in him. His ac­tions be­tray a reck­less­ness of high­est or­der,” Mr Lehloenya added.

For his part, Mr Mape­sela said Dr Mosisili’s ac­tions were “detri­men­tal to this na­tion in the sense that he is ru­in­ing re­la­tions Le­sotho has with other coun­tries in the re­gion”.

“Ntate Mosisili is just de­stroy­ing ev­ery­thing in the coun­try know­ing his days in gov­ern­ment are over. His fran­tic ef­forts to rule from the grave are also fail­ing him.

“Judg­ing from this, Ntate Mosisili and his cronies are not go­ing to ac­cept de­feat in the up-com­ing elec­tions. The build-up of his re­sis­tance to out­come of the elec­tions has started now by re­ject­ing the SADC de­ci­sions,” he said.

But Dr Mosisili’s Po­lit­i­cal and Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sor Fako Likoti yes­ter­day dis­missed the op­po­si­tion’s state­ment as “lies meant to de­ceive vot­ers.”

“They don’t know what they are talk­ing about. All the say are lies that are meant to de­ceive vot­ers. Ntate Mosisili still com­mands the big­gest sup­port and the op­po­si­tion en­vies that.

“If they are not happy with the gov­ern­ment’s stance on SADC is­sues, why can’t they just present their own stand­point be­fore the re­gional body,” Dr Likoti said.

Op­po­si­tion lead­ers, from left: ABC leader thomas tha­bane, AD leader Monyane Moleleki , RCL leader Keketso Ran­tšo and Bnp leader th­e­sele ’Maserib­ane.

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