Sadc is not the enemy
WE have been following with apprehension the reports that Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili believes that the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) decision 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 constitutes an interference in our country’s internal affairs.
We would have hoped this were not true but then again Dr Mosisili wrote to SADC chairperson King Mswati III, dismissing the decisions of the regional body as interference with Lesotho’s sovereignty.
There is no need for us to restate the obvious fact that there is a good reason why SADC has appointed Mr Ramaphosa as its facilitator to Lesotho.
SADC is certainly not the enemy here and it is evident that Lesotho is one of the region’s problem children along with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe.
SADC are not here for holiday and some other fun activities. In fact the regional body has expended so much in terms of financial resources, time and personnel, convening meetings after meetings and even setting up a commission of inquiry under the leadership of retired Botswana judge, Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi.
In fact the commission of inquiry was set up at the instigation of Dr Mosisili in the aftermath of 2015 killing of former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander Maaparankoe Mahao by soldiers who had been sent to arrest him on suspicion that he was behind a foiled mutiny plot involving several LDF members who are now appearing before a Court Martial.
Since then, SADC has been doing what it can to assist the country along the path of reforms designed to achieve stability in governance and in the security sector, without which the country will remain a basket case relying on handouts and incapable of sustained economic development.
We have already pointed out that we are a problem child that needs all the assistance we can get to move out of our perilous situation.
The consequences of thumbing our noses at those who would help us out of our self-inflicted problems are just too ghastly to contemplate.
We did not need to go further than the precedence of Zimbabwe and its President Robert Mugabe to understand why it is wrong to bite the hand that seeks to feed you.
Prior to the 2013 elections in that unfortunate country, President Mugabe mounted his favourite hobbyhorse of blaming outsiders and publicly castigated SADC, insisting he would sooner withdraw Zimbabwe from the regional body than allow it to dictate to his sovereign government what it could and could not do.
He went as far as describing SADC facilitator (South African President) Jacob Zuma’s special representative Lindiwe Zulu as a “street woman” for suggesting that Zimbabwe should follow SADC electoral guidelines it had helped in shaping as a member of the regional body.
Suffice to say that Zimbabwe remains a basket case without a currency of its own, not to mention an international pariah saddled with socioeconomic and governance challenges because of Mugabe’s intransigence.
Surely these cannot be the role models that we would look up to as a country.
It stands to reason that we must give SADC all the respect it deserves as it goes about its mission of assisting us to achieve normalcy.
It is our wish to take our place as dignified member of the international community with a stable functioning government and other related institutions dedicated to the welfare of citizens.
It is our wish that we can have a stable government that can last the full five year term.
Lesotho could well be a strife-free, stable land flowing with milk and honey for all its people with some left over for visitors.
This is only possible if we concentrate on tackling the real challenges and not make enemies of those trying to help us.