April 04, 2022
Maseru-The National Reforms Authority (NRA) has launched the High-Level Forum on the status of implementation of Lesotho National Reforms held at Manthabiseng Convention Centre this morning.
The four-day is activity mandated to reflect on the on-going national reforms to present feedback on the national reforms implementation, and map a way forward for the process, which includes the Omnibus Bill that has already been presented before the National Assembly.
The event is projected to end on Thursday this week.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro stated that after the June 2017 general elections, the Government of Lesotho drafted the Roadmap for Comprehensive National Reforms which defined the path towards a lasting solution to Lesotho political and security challenges.
â€œThe overall aim to stabilise the Lesotho political landscape is so that we can create a conducive environment for an economically prosperous Lesotho,â€ he said.
He said the central issue in the national reforms process is attaining sustainable peace, national unity, healing and reconciliation which he said can be attained by peace within the Basotho as a nation or risk the undertaken reforms amounting to naught.
â€œThus, our journey to the re-birth of Lesotho will not be complete until we attain sustainable peace, national unity, healing and reconciliation. Indeed, the Devine Book is on point when it says that â€œNtlo e itoantÅ¡ang e fetoha lesupiâ€ â€“ which is translated â€œA house divided cannot standâ€, he said.
â€œIt is with pride that today, as we take a moment to reflect on our reforms journey, we do so at the backdrop of almost 90 constitutional amendments submitted to Government by the NRA, styled as the 11th Amendment to the Constitution. These laudable strides did not come easily.
He continued in his speech that the NRA had remained resolute in the face of adversity occasioned by several factors including COVID-19. He said the Authority had to work tirelessly and with dedication to achieve what it has achieved today.
In the same event, the United Nation Resident Coordinator Amanda Khozi Mukwashi highlighted that the road process of reforms to find peace and reconciliation depicts the nature and character of the founder of Basotho King Moshoeshoe I who is known for his peace negotiations and battle strategy.
She said while facing the constraints of time and resources to deliver, the NRA and its secretariat have managed to deliver on a number of significant reform legislations adopted by Plenary II and that the formulation of the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution, popularly known as the Omnibus Bill, is one of these major accomplishments by the Authority.
â€œNow it is for Parliament to consider the Omnibus Bill. As we all await the outcomes of the deliberations, we hope that the ultimate winners will be the people of Lesotho.The journey so far has been long and tasking but worthwhile in many ways as it sets the Basotho on a path that shall have positive inter-generational effects in terms of peace, security, stability and development.
â€œIt is therefore important that as leaders you all work together to ensure that the dialogue and reform process goes forward and any set-backs that may be encountered along the way are dealt with,â€ Mukwashi said.
She continued that, â€œthese bold reforms that are being considered by the Mountain Kingdom to entrench a democratic and rules-based political culture; and, to deepen the understanding that peaceful transition of power is the cornerstone of sustainable democracy and durable peace need to be nurtured. The success of the reform process is therefore highly dependent on two things: First, political will and ability to sustain a common vision of the â€˜Lesotho we Want.â€™
â€œThe continued engagement of the people of Lesotho in the process, while it is clear that different groups were engaged in the national dialogues, steps must be taken to see to it that people continue to be part of understanding the recommendations, their implications on people lives and the transformation that they will bring.
She said the reforms while not being a one stop solution for all ills, provide hope that peopleâ€™s lives will improve due to a new order of public resources management, checks and balances, political stability and a focus on the development agenda.
â€œIt is recognised that the next stage of implementing reforms will require more resources, more partners and better coordination of the whole process. This requires collective reflection on what has been learned from the two phases of the national reforms process and what can be improved. This Forum provides that opportunity -and it is your hope that all those participating will make the best use of the time and space allocated for engagement and discussions,â€ she said.
â€œWe thank the NRA for a job well done. We thank our development partners the European Union (EU), African Union (AU), Common Wealth and others, and our own United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and UN PBF for the financial and technical support they continue to provide in our strive to the â€˜â€˜Lesotho We Wantâ€.
â€œThe UN family remains committed and stands in solidarity with the Basotho on this journey of reforms and national cohesion. In so doing, we recognize the resource gaps and shall continue to reach out to bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors and the international community to collectively support Lesothoâ€™s efforts.
â€œOnce again, we express that the future of the national reforms process needs to be considered in-depth and mechanisms or structures of continuity should be properly outlined and agreed upon by all stakeholders,â€ she said.