Leaders snub inauguration
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.