SADC demands progress report

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Keiso Mohloboli

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) is maintaining a tough line on the government and demanding the implementation of “each” of the recommendations in Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi’s report into Lesotho’s instability “with immediate effect” as well as a progress report.

SADC’s demands are contained in a letter written by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in his capacity as chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

The letter, dated 11 March 2016, is addressed to Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and sets timelines for the implementation of the SADC inquiry’s recommendations in line with the decisions of the regional bloc’s Double Troika Summit of 18 January 2016.

Among other resolutions, the troika urged the Lesotho government to implement Justice Phumaphi’s recommendations compiled after an investigation by a 10-member Commission of Inquiry.

Mr Nyusi’s letter followed a visit to Mozambique by Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing on 25 February 2016. Mr Metsing first met the Mozambican leader before meeting SADC chairperson and Botswana President Ian Khama to give an update on developments in the country.

Part of the letter reads: “I wish to make reference to a meeting held on 25th February 2016 in Maputo, Mozambique with a delegation from the Kingdom of Lesotho, led by your special envoy, the Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Mothetjoa Metsing.

“I am grateful for the information shared with me by the delegation particularly on progress made by the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho since the SADC Double Troika summit of 18 January 2016. I hereby submit the attached record of the meeting in summary.”

Mr Nyusi outlines what was agreed during the meeting, and among the resolutions was the submission to the SADC secretariat of the commission’s report “with explanation on how it differs from the original report and reasons for any variance”.

“Submission of the report should be done with immediate effect and not later than Friday, 4th March 2016,” states the letter.

The Mozambican leader also instructs the government to implement “with immediate effect” the recommendations of the inquiry.

“. . . and submit progress report thereof on each recommendation with a clear roadmap and timeline in line with the decisions of the 18 January 2016 SADC Double Troika Summit. The progress report should be submitted by Friday 4th March 2016.”

He also urges the government to “finalise the Memorandum of Understanding on the safe return to the Kingdom of Lesotho of all exiled Basothos (sic) that include provisions of security to the former Prime Minister (Thomas Thabane) and other opposition leaders. This process should be finalised by, 4th March 2016”.

The government, Mr Nyusi says, should also submit a roadmap with timelines on the implementation of constitutional, public sector and security sector reforms in line with the 18th January 2016, SADC Double Troika Summit.

The roadmap should be submitted by 31 March 2016, he further says.

Mr Nyusi concludes by saying he expects to hear a response on the strides made in addressing the issues raised.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Dr Mosisili’s press attaché, Motumi Ralejoe, said he could neither confirm nor deny his principal’s receipt of the letter from Mr Nyusi.

“I was on leave for my mother’s burial and worked outside the office today. So I cannot not confirm receipt of the said letter because I have not seen it myself,” Mr Ralejoe said.

“However, if the letter was received, I am sure the government has looked at it and will definitely duly respond to Mr Nyusi.”

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