Govt speaks out on Kamoli exit

Lesotho Times
5 Min Read
PM’s Spokesperson Motumi Ralejoe
 PM’s Spokesperson Motumi Ralejoe
PM’s Spokesperson Motumi Ralejoe

. . . as Americans commend ‘positive step’

Billy Ntaote

THE removal of Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli from the helm of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) is in line with a reforms roadmap being followed by the government.

According to Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s spokesperson Motumi Ralejoe, the government was merely following a roadmap it submitted to the 36th Ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State held in Swaziland in August this year.

This was after Government Secretary Lebohang Ramohlanka announced this week that Lt-Gen Kamoli would retire and hand over command of the LDF to his deputy Major-General Khoantle Motšomotšo on 1 December 2016.

Ms Ramohlanka said the decision was made after negotiations “on a mutually agreeable solution” regarding Lt-Gen Kamoli’s future.

“The office of the Prime Minister informs the Basotho nation, that as government had earlier explained that it has begun negotiations with the army commander Lieutenant-General Kennedy Tlali Kamoli, such negotiations have been completed, and both sides have agreed that Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli will retire, in line with section 23 (2) of the Lesotho Defence Force Act No. 4 of 1996, on December 1, this year,” reads part of the statement.

“The general public is also informed that His Majesty King Letsie III, has accepted the Prime Minister’s advice that Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli’s successor in the command of the Lesotho army, to be Major General Khoantle Motšomotšo. He will take over as the commander of the Lesotho Defence Force from December 1.”

Dr Mosisili told parliament in June this year the government had undertaken the negotiations in light of “national and international agitations and submissions fuelled by a very strong negative perception that has been created around General Kamoli”.

The LDF chief’s dismissal had been recommended by the SADC Commission of Inquiry into Lesotho’s instability “in the interest of restoring trust and acceptance of the LDF to the Basotho nation”.

Mr Ralejoe said Lt-Gen Kamoli’s departure was in line with the roadmap towards implementing reforms.

“The roadmap was accepted by the SADC summit. The SADC organ on Politics Defence and security Cooperation referred to as the troika was tasked to look at the road map. The country is currently working in line with the roadmap on other issues concerning the reforms process,” he said.

“It is also worth mentioning that the prime minister publicly announced he had begun negotiations with the army commander some time ago.

“Dr Mosisili indicated to Parliament that the removal of Lt-Gen Kamoli was the toughest of all recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry but he had already started negotiations with him. He had said he would notify the public when the negotiations are completed.”

According to a copy of the road map seen by the Lesotho Times, the government undertook to implement a number of reforms in the fourth quarter of 2016 that include among others:

“Enacting legislation to protect the constitution making process; Establishing an independent body on Remuneration and Benefits for political statutory and senior position holders; Establishing a Judicial Reforms Committee; Establishing a Decentralization Committee on public services Enacting Referendum law; Conducting a study tour for lessons learned on Constitutional reform from other jurisdictions; Setting up a Constitution Making Body (CMB).”

The roadmap also includes engaging international experts on Security Sector Reforms (SSR); Conducting Training-of-Trainers Workshop for Lesotho Security Sector Reforms Committee; Conducting Nationwide Sensitisation Workshops on SSR for all stakeholders; Developing a proposal for the review of SS Laws by the Security Sector Reforms Commission.

The government also committed to: “Submitting the proposal to the Lesotho Law Reform Commission by SSRC; Assigning a Commissioner (a Judge of the High Court) to lead the project; Establishing Parliamentary Reforms Committee; Engaging an International expert on public service reforms; Enacting Amnesty Law; and Finalising mutually acceptable solution for the exit of Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.”

Commenting on Lt-Gen Kamoli’s retirement, the US Embassy Maseru Spokesperson Julie Mckay commended the move as a “positive step”.

“We welcome the announcement of Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli’s December 1 retirement and see this as a positive step towards the implementation of the SADC Commission of Inquiry recommendations,” said Ms McKay.

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