Home NewsLocal News SADC reprimands Mosisili

SADC reprimands Mosisili

by Lesotho Times
0 comment 74 views


Lekhetho Ntsukunyane

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has reprimanded the government of Lesotho for claiming its sovereignty was being impinged by the regional bloc ahead of next month’s election, telling Maseru to cooperate with the structures the 14-nation group has set up to bring about lasting political stability.

The stinging rebuke comes in the wake of a threat by Botswana President Ian Khama to withdraw his country’s representatives from the SADC Oversight Committee on Lesotho in light of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s remonstrations that it would “gnaw” at the Mountain Kingdom’s sovereignty.

Dr Mosisili’s Political and Economic Adviser, Dr Fako Likoti, yesterday confirmed receiving the correspondence from the regional bloc, saying the premier was yet to respond to it since he had been out of the country.

SADC’s admonition was in response to a 5 April 2017 letter Dr Mosisili wrote to the regional bloc’s chairperson, King Mswati III, taking issue with the decisions made by an extra-ordinary summit for heads of state and government held on 18 March 2017 in Swaziland.

In the letter, Dr Mosisili says, as a sovereign state, Lesotho “allowed democracy to prevail and flourish” with the passing of a parliamentary no-confidence vote on his seven-party coalition government on 1 March 2017 engineered by four opposition parties.

Six days later, King Letsie III dissolved parliament and proclaimed 3 June as election day.

The premier says he therefore viewed “with disdain” paragraph 11 of the SADC summit communique which stated that the bloc’s facilitator to Lesotho, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Oversight Committee would monitor the political and security situation in Lesotho during the election period. Dr Mosisili also notes the decision was tantamount to “allowing these two SADC structures to gradually gnaw into the very fabric of our sovereignty”.

“In our humble opinion, the mandate of both structures needs to be reviewed so as to confine them within the purview of agreed parameters,” he said.

Led by retired Tanzanian judge, Justice Frederic Mwita Werema, the 10-member Oversight Committee was established by an Extraordinary Summit of the Double Troika held on 3 July 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa to monitor the implementation of SADC decisions regarding the political and security situation.

The committee was also tasked with providing assistance in the implementation of constitutional, security and public sector reforms in Lesotho.

Dr Mosisili also takes issue with the summit’s mandating of Mr Ramaphosa and the Oversight Committee to hold a multi-stakeholder national dialogue ahead of the 3 June 2017 parliamentary elections, describing it as “yet another spurious responsibility”.

Mr Ramaphosa, who is also South African deputy president, last week approved the deferment of the indaba until after the elections in line with Dr Mosisili’s argument of time constraints.

The premier also bellyached about the “shocking veiled threat” by SADC of “consequences” for failure to observe timelines in the implementation the SADC decisions and the recommendations of the Justice Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry.

“We cannot, in good conscience, allow our sovereignty to be sacrificed for whatever reason by a regional body of which we are founding members. It would be a sad day if indeed we were to allow the SADC to degenerate into a body where (its) might reigns supreme. This is not the SADC we founded. This is not the SADC we would be proud to be a part of. This is not the SADC we would like to bequeath unto posterity,” Dr Mosisili asserts in the letter.

King Mswati III responded to Dr Mosisili in a letter dated 24 April 2017.

Part of it reads: “SADC has been seized with developments of the Kingdom of Lesotho over an extended period of time, and has continued to offer extensive support to the Kingdom of Lesotho in line with SADC objectives and principles, with an aim of bringing about sustainable political stability, peace and tranquility in the Kingdom of Lesotho, a SADC member state.”

The Swazi monarch states that the 18 March SADC summit decisions were “made in the spirit of supporting the Kingdom of Lesotho to address political and security challenges, and in solidarity and brotherhood.”

The decisions, King Mswati III further notes, were also in line with the SADC Treaty and the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.

“May I encourage you and the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho to continue implementing Summit decisions and cooperate with all relevant SADC structures assigned to the Kingdom of Lesotho by SADC.”

King Mswati III concludes by stressing the region’s commitment to supporting Lesotho in the endevour to bring “sustainable political stability, peace and security”.

For his part, Dr Likoti confirmed the premier received the letter, saying he was yet to respond.

“The prime minister has received the letter but he is yet to respond to it,” Dr Likoti said.

“He was out of the country and only able to pay attention to the letter this week. You will notice this is a sensitive matter between heads of state and government in the SADC member states. It equally deserves to be treated with the utmost sensitivity.”



You may also like

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.