Lead­ers snub in­au­gu­ra­tion

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - Le­tuka Chafotsa

South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will be the only head-of-state at this week’s in­au­gu­ra­tion of Demo­cratic Congress (DC) leader, Pakalitha Mo­sisili, as Le­sotho’s new prime min­is­ter.

Dr Mo­sisili re­turns to power on tues­day as head of a seven-party al­liance af­ter sur­ren­der­ing the premier­ship to All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion ( ABC) leader, thomas tha­bane, on 8 June 2012. he had led Le­sotho for 14 years since 29 May 1998.

Ac­cord­ing to For­eign Af­fairs Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary (PS) te­bello Mets­ing, Mr Zuma — who is chair­per­son of the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) or­gan on Pol­i­tics, De­fence and Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion — was the only pres­i­dent who had con­firmed his pres­ence at the his­toric oc­ca­sion set for Set­soto Sta­dium be­gin­ning 9am.

how­ever, Mr Mets­ing said Botswana would send Vice-Pres­i­dent Mokg­weetsi Ma­sisi, while Zim­babwe is to be rep­re­sented by Vice-Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko, and Swazi­land its Prime Min­is­ter, Barn­abas Sibu­siso Dlamini.

Mr Mets­ing added Malawi and Mozam­bique would have For­eign Af­fairs min­is­ters Ge­orge Chaponda and oldemiro Júlio Mar­ques Balói re­spec­tively at the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony, while the Sey­chelles, An­gola and tan­za­nia would be rep­re­sented by their diplo­mats.

Mr Mets­ing on Fri­day told the Sun­day Ex­press: “Zam­bia, Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, Mada­gas­car, Mau­ri­tius and Namibia have not yet in­di­cated whether or not, they would be send­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the in­au­gu­ra­tion.

how­ever, we are hope­ful Namibia will be rep­re­sented since we have come a long way to­gether in reach­ing where we are to­day.”

Pres­i­dent Hi­fikepunye Po­hamba of Namibia, in his ca­pac­ity as SADC or­gan on Pol­i­tics, De­fence and Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion chair­per­son, last year started the me­di­a­tion be­tween Le­sotho’s feud­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment part­ners — ABC leader and Prime Min­is­ter thomas tha­bane, Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy leader and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing and Ba­sotho Na­tional Party leader and Sports Min­is­ter th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane.

the fa­cil­i­ta­tion led to the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, which came two years ahead of sched­ule, and cul­mi­nated in last week’s nom­i­na­tion of Dr Mo­sisili as prime min­is­ter-elect.

Mr Mets­ing added: “In ad­di­tion to Pres­i­dent Zuma, his deputy, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, whose me­di­a­tion re­sulted in last month’s elec­tion, as well as South Africa’s For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter, Maite NkoanaMasha­bane, will also be there at the in­au­gu­ra­tion.”

Mean­while, in ad­di­tion to the DC which won 47 of the 120 seats up for grabs, the new gov­ern­ment also com­prises the LCD (12 seats), Popular Front for Democ­racy (two seats), Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party (one seat), Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party (one seat), Ba­sotho Congress Party (one seat) and Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (one seat).

the ABC won 46 seats, while the BNP and RCL won seven and two seats, re­spec­tively. how­ever, Dr tha­bane could not re­tain power be­cause his party failed to find ad­di­tional part­ners to the BNP and RCL to get the min­i­mum 61 seats that would have given him a sim­ple ma­jor­ity in the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

FLASH­BACK: Then out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili (right) hands over power to All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion leader Thomas Tha­bane at Set­soto Sta­dium on 8 June 2012 while army com­man­der Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli looks on.

SA Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma (left) with Prime Min­is­ter-elect Pakalitha Mo­sisili in this file pic.

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