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SADC urges Lesotho to expedite completion of reforms

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Mohloai Mpesi

The government of Lesotho should expedite completion of the ongoing reforms and continue with peace, transitional justice and reconciliation process to foster national unity and bring about national healing and cohesion.

A full summit of the 16-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) made this request in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday.

In a communiqué, the regional leaders said they received a progress report from the SADC facilitator to Lesotho, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa on the implementation of SADC decisions in Lesotho.

The communiqué read: “Summit also urged the Kingdom of Lesotho to expedite completion of the ongoing reforms, and to continue with peace, transitional justice and reconciliation process to engender national unity, and bring about national healing and cohesion.”

The reforms suffered a setback last month when the term of parliament ended without it having passed the 11th Amendment to the Constitution Bill 2022.

Recognising the failure to pass the bill, Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro this week declared a state of emergency.

Commonly known as the omnibus bill, the 11th Amendment to the Constitution Bill promises to arrest some of the longstanding constitutional problems.

These include the excessive powers of the prime minister, a judiciary that is controlled by the executive, politicised security agencies and a weak parliament.

“Realising that failure to pass the two bills (Omnibus Bill and the National Assembly Electoral Amendment Bill, 2022) means continuation of unchecked politicisation of the public service, including the security agencies, loopholes in the constitution, formation of coalition governments, unregulated floor crossing in parliament and inadequate regulation of political parties, which have been identified as factors undermining political stability, justice and peace in the country,” Majoro said when he declared a state of emergency.

He further said that unless the stated undesirable situation is addressed, “it is likely to be beyond control and escalate thus causing more threat to the peace, safety and stability of the Basotho nation”.

Now with the state of emergency declared, it is expected that the King will recall parliament to pass the Omnibus Bill and the National Assembly Electoral Amendment Bill.

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