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Metsi ke Bophelo conference – A lesson in transparency and due process


Editorial Comment

The order to cancel the Water and Hydrogen in a Digital Future Conference and Expo unveiled significant concerns about the organisational foundation behind the event.

This episode offers a crucial lesson on the importance of transparency and adherence to due process in such initiatives.

Metsi ke Bophelo Advocacy Incorporated, spearheaded by Mashudu Ramano, found itself at the heart of this controversy.

The fact that it was legally registered only weeks after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the conference raises legitimate questions about the process that led to this agreement.

The MOU was intended to outline the collaboration between Metsi ke Bophelo and the Ministry of Natural Resources for the conference. While the organisation committed to providing professional services and expertise at no cost to the government, the Ministry, in turn, pledged to offer necessary resources and engage in decision-making processes.

Minister of Natural Resources, Mohlomi Moleko, clarified that the MOU was formalised only after Metsi ke Bophelo’s proper registration. However, the Attorney General, advocate Rapelang Motsieloa, expressed reservations about the process, emphasising the importance of thorough review before such agreements are finalised.

Committee chairperson Moeketsi Motšoane aptly recommended a fresh start, underscoring that this partnership had been formed under questionable legality.

He rightly urged that the Attorney General be consulted to ensure all procedures are followed appropriately.

Ramano’s feelings of being unwelcome during the hearing due to language barriers highlight a broader issue. It is imperative that all stakeholders ensure clear communication, including the provision of interpreters where necessary, to foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

Ramano’s extensive experience in the hydrogen economy and his commitment to addressing water accessibility issues in Lesotho are commendable. However, it is vital that these efforts are conducted with the highest degree of transparency and adherence to legal processes.

The six-month delay in registering Metsi ke Bophelo Advocacy Incorporated underscores the need for timely compliance with legal requirements. This delay may have contributed to the subsequent controversy.

In moving forward, it is paramount that all parties involved in such initiatives prioritise transparency, legal compliance, and due process.

This incident should serve as a valuable lesson for future endeavors of this nature. Only by adhering to these principles can we ensure that projects meant to benefit the public are established on a solid and lawful foundation.

The stand taken by the Attorney General in this matter is commendable. As per the Constitution, it is unequivocally the duty of the Attorney-General to offer legal guidance to the government and to employ all necessary legal measures for the safeguarding and upholding of the Constitution and the laws of Lesotho.

This includes ensuring due process and adherence to legal procedures in matters as significant as the Metsi ke Bophelo conference. Such steadfast commitment to legal principles is pivotal for a government that operates transparently and in accordance with the rule of law.

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