SADC team assesses reforms progress

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Billy Ntaote

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) is in the country to observe the post-election climate and ascertain progress on the implementation of security sector and constitutional reforms intended at achieving lasting peace and stability.

The SEAC mission is in accordance with section 7.3 of the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

Elections were last held in the country in 2015 and there was no outright winner, resulting in the formation of the current seven parties’ coalition government headed by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

The SEAC mission is led by Professor Mpho Molomo, a SEAC member from Botswana, Justice John Billy Tendwa (Tanzania), Dr Gabriel Malebang, Dr Mavis Matenge and Ms Sibongile Gopolang (all from the SADC Secretariat).

Yesterday, the five-member SEAC team met with the media, the College of Chiefs and other stakeholders.

Professor Molomo said they would also meet with government representatives, political, electoral stakeholders, civil society organisations, diplomatic missions, national and international organisations.

“We are here to find out what the political atmosphere is like after the elections,” Professor Molomo said, adding, “We are also looking forward to learning what institutions are in place and how they have been run”.

“Our mandate is to advance, entrench and consolidate democracy in the SADC region.

“We also are here to find out what progress has been made towards the implementation of the SADC commission of inquiry’s Report,” he said.

The SADC Commission of Inquiry led by Botswana judge, Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi was set up in the aftermath of the 2015 killing of the former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander, Maaparankoe Mahao who was shot dead just outside Maseru, allegedly while resisting arrest on suspicion he was behind a foiled mutiny plot involving several LDF members who are now appearing before a Court Martial.

The Commission subsequently made several recommendations aimed at finding lasting harmony in the Kingdom.

Among the recommendations was the removal of the now retired army commander Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli to restore Basotho’s trust in the LDF, criminal investigations into the death of Lt-Gen Mahao leading to prosecution, constitutional reforms, the suspension of LDF officers implicated in cases of murder, attempted murder and treason while investigations into the allegations proceeded in line with international best practice, as well as amnesty for the 23 soldiers facing mutiny charges before the Court Martial.

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