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Metsing repeats GNU demands

by Lesotho Times
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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE leader of the opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Mothetjoa Metsing, has repeated his demands for a government of national unity (GNU) to lead the country throughout the multi-sector reforms process.

Mr Metsing also demanded the sacking and prosecution of police officers who were involved in human rights violations.

The former deputy premier made these and other demands while addressing party supporters at a weekend rally in Tele, Quthing.

The LCD is one of the parties that is involved in the processes that are expected to culminate in the implementation of the constitutional, security sector, media, judicial and governance reforms that were recommended by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2016.

Last year, SADC leaders gave Lesotho until May 2019 to have fully implemented the constitutional and security sector reforms but with less than a fortnight remaining, it is clear that the deadline will not be met.

The process has been delayed largely as a result of the bickering between the government and the opposition which for a long time refused to participate until the government meet their preconditions including the establishment of a GNU, a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) as well as the release of the likes of murder-accused former army commander, Lieutenant General, Tlali Kamoli.

And in his Sunday address to LCD supporters, Mr Metsing repeated his demands for a GNU, saying it was the only institution that could bring peace and stability to Lesotho.

“We want a government of national unity because it is the only thing which can bring us out of the poverty that we currently find ourselves in. A GNU is the only government that can lead an inclusive reforms process and bring us economic stability as well,” Mr Metsing said.

He also warned against piecemeal amendments to the national constitution, saying instead the whole constitution needed to be overhauled to ensure lasting peace and stability.

“We have seen Lesotho’s 1966 and 1993 constitutions being amended but this time we want total reforms of the constitution and this will be the first one ever to be democratically informed by the people.

“This is the only one time that you will also be able to have an opportunity to be included in the constitution by advocating that your languages be included in the constitution and this is a chance you should not miss at all.” Quthing has minority populations of Bathepu and Xhosa speaking people.

He also said the issue of a truth and reconciliation should also be brought up in the consultations as it assist the nation to heal and forgive each other after so many  upheavals and human rights violations in the post-independence era.

“So many things have happened and people still have issues with one another. It is high time that we let bygones be bygones as people make confessions of the atrocities they have committed in the past before they turn over a new leaf.

“We need sustainable solutions to attain peace.”

Mr Metsing also demanded the sacking and prosecution of police officers who were involved in human rights violations.

“All such officers should be removed and we need to that they will be given befitting punishment. All these issues should be raised during the consultations for the reforms processes and we must remember that we are stronger when we are united than when we are divided.”

Mr Metsing said LCD had gone through a “baptism of fire” in the political arena where it had lost so much support, adding it was time they strengthened their cooperation with other congress parties including the Democratic Congress (DC).

“I still maintain that if we work together as congress parties with the DC, we shall achieve more,” Mr Metsing said.

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