Gvt to go ahead with re­forms with or with­out the op­po­si­tion

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE chair­per­son of the Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Law and Pub­lic Safety, Lekhetho Mos­ito, has ac­cused the op­po­si­tion of work­ing against the re­forms agenda, in­sist­ing the process would go ahead with or with­out the op­po­si­tion.

In an in­ter­view with Le­sotho Times on Tues­day, Mr Mos­ito said the na­ture of de­mands by the op­po­si­tion were a clear in­di­ca­tion of peo­ple who were not will­ing to see the gov­ern­ment suc­ceed­ing where they failed when they were in gov­ern­ment be­fore the 3 June 2017 snap elec­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Mos­ito, the gov­ern­ment has no­ticed a dis­turb­ing trend where the op­po­si­tion makes new de­mands when­ever the gov­ern­ment makes progress in sat­is­fy­ing their previous de­mands.

“They are al­ways shift­ing the goal posts when they see that we are meet­ing their ini­tial de­mands, un­for­tu­nately for them, this is not go­ing to dis­cour­age us from work­ing to have the re­forms in place,” Mr Mos­ito said.

The Spokesper­son for the Demo­cratic Congress (DC), Se­ri­a­long Qoo this week con­firmed that the op­po­si­tion was all out to frus­trate the re­forms’ process, threat­en­ing to un­leash more un­spec­i­fied de­struc­tive strate­gies.

He could not hide the op­po­si­tion’s dis­like of the SADC troops, an un­wel­com­ing po­si­tion some sec­tions within the gov­ern­ment crit­i­cized say­ing this was fast de­vel­op­ing into a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion that may re­quire de­ci­sive non-vi­o­lent ac­tions to man­age the con­flict since re­solv­ing it had proved im­pos­si­ble.

“The SADC troops should go as part of our pre-con­di­tions towards the re­forms process. We want the re­forms as badly as they want them, but they should get their act to­gether. We have not even started frus­trat­ing the process, more is yet to come if they don’t rec­tify their wrongs and do as we all pledged. As a col­lec­tive de­ci­sion we have agreed not to at­tend any par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee meet­ing,” said Mr Qoo.

He also de­manded the re­lease of all peo­ple ar­rested for var­i­ous crimes, in­clud­ing the for­mer Le­sotho De­fence Force Com­man­der, Tlali Kamoli.

“We want peo­ple who have been de­tained due to some po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ences to be re­leased from prison and they in­clude the for­mer com­man­der of the LDF, Tlali Kamoli,” said Qoo.

How­ever, Mr Mos­ito said the tac­tics em­ployed by the op­po­si­tion were aimed at de­rail­ing a no­ble process that seeks to strengthen pil­lars of good gov­er­nance, rule of law and en­sure po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sta­bil­ity.

“The way they are be­hav­ing, all peo­ple who have the best in­ter­est of Le­sotho at heart can tell that they are buy­ing time be­cause some of their con­di­tions are out of this world.”

He cited jus­tice as an ex­am­ple, say­ing there should be a sep­a­ra­tion of is­sues rang­ing from po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity to jus­tice and per­sonal.

“We can’t de­feat the ends of jus­tice by say­ing that peo­ple should not be taken to task for break­ing the laws of Le­sotho sim­ply be­cause of the port­fo­lio they hold. Noone is above the law. If there are crimes that some of the ex­iled lead­ers have to an­swer to, they must man-up and come back to ex­plain them­selves. We will give them what­ever else they are re­quest­ing but we can­not de­feat the ends of jus­tice,” Mr Mos­ito said.

He also ac­cused the op­po­si­tion of sab­o­tag­ing the busi­ness of par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees, as some of the mem­bers of the Law and Pub­lic Safety have not been at­tend­ing sched­uled meet­ings.

“We have about 21 mem­bers in the Law and Pub­lic Safety Com­mit­tee, eight of which com­prise the op­po­si­tion. They have not been at­tend­ing meet­ings. We need to form a quo­rum of eight peo­ple for com­mit­tees to run smoothly. How­ever, the non-at­ten­dance by most com­mit­tee mem­bers dis­ad­van­tages them be­cause we can still form a quo­rum even in their ab­sence,” Mr Mos­ito said.

He said it was clear from the op­po­si­tion’s neg­a­tive at­ti­tude that the po­lit­i­cal line they de­cided to tow was meant to sab­o­tage par­lia­men­tary busi­ness.

“What this means is that even those who would like to at­tend can’t lest they would be ac­cused of tak­ing sides with the ri­vals. How­ever, what is im­por­tant is that as the gov­ern­ment, we have done what needs to be and there­fore we are go­ing to op­er­ate with or with­out them,” Mos­ito said.

Con­tacted for com­ment, the spokesper­son for the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD), Te­boho Sekata, said from the start of the whole process, the gov­ern­ment has erred.

“We have col­lec­tively de­cided that we shall not at­tend any of these meet­ings, and we stand by our de­ci­sion. We want the SADC troops to go be­cause we don’t know what their mis­sion is here in Le­sotho. All we see them do­ing is court­ing our sis­ters, drink­ing al­co­hol and play­ing soc­cer. We also want the ex­iled lead­ers to come back and par­tic­i­pate in the re­forms,” said Mr Sekata.

On the other hand, leader of Move­ment for Eco­nomic Change, Se­libe Mo­choboroane said, “Ntate Mos­ito should ad­vise his lead­ers to call a na­tional di­a­logue, not for the gov­ern­ment to work on the re­forms and the Bill be­hind closed doors. The gov­ern­ment doesn’t own the re­forms nor the op­po­si­tion, they be­long to the peo­ple,”mr Mo­choboroane said.

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