KING Letsie III says the country’s nascent political reform process should be all-inclusive and embrace non-state actors in order to strengthen democracy and end the political instability gripping the country.
The reforms which cover constitutional, parliamentary and security among other issues were among the recommendations made by the Justice Mphaphi Phumaphi-led SADC Commission of Inquiry into Lesotho’s instability.
The inquiry, which was launched following the killing of former Lesotho Defence Force commander Maaparankoe Mahao by his army colleagues on 25 June last year, was held between 31 August and 23 October 2015.
The regional bloc also established an Oversight Committee to monitor the implementation of SADC decisions regarding the political and security situation in Lesotho. The committee was also tasked with providing assistance in the implementation of constitutional, security and public sector reforms in Lesotho.
And in his recent 2016 year-end speech, His Majesty said while it was commendable that government had started working on the reforms, it was however necessary to bring on board all stakeholders “so as to reach a common goal”.
“This is a commendable step in our journey to strengthen democracy. I therefore believe that it is very important that all civil society stakeholders should be included in this process and be afforded the opportunity to take part so as to reach a common goal,” His Majesty said.
“I appeal to all those entrusted to pioneer these processes to allow inclusiveness because failure to do so will render it useless. Let us all therefore engage in full force so that the changes will be accepted by all as they bring about a change which will be sustainable in answering all the problems which our country has and is still going through.”
His Majesty said it was imperative for all stakeholders to set aside their sectarian interests and put the needs of the country first.
King Letsie III said it was also high time the country found ways of dealing with its own problems without always seeking external help.
“We need to define a feasible communication strategy for solving our own problems.
“The current situation is portraying us negatively in the eyes of investors, donor countries and international organisations,” King Letsie III said, adding, political stability was a pre-condition to economic growth.