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Stalled reforms: A warning call


Editorial Comment

In the midst of Lesotho’s political landscape, where the pursuit of constitutional reforms has become akin to navigating treacherous waters, the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) has sounded a warning bell.

At the 77th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, currently convened in Tanzania, the TRC has spotlighted a growing crisis.

Since the emergence of coalition politics in 2012, Lesotho has witnessed repeated waves of political instability.

In response, the call for constitutional reforms became paramount, seeking to realign the nation’s legal framework with the evolving political terrain. Advocates Mokitimi Tšosane and Mabela Lehloenya, representing TRC, underscored the urgency of this endeavour.

The reforms, intended to usher in an era of stability, have been the outcome of years of deliberations involving political parties, civil society, and various stakeholders, facilitated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

However, despite domestic and international support, progress has been painfully slow, with the dissolution of the National Reforms Authority in 2022 marking a significant setback.

The Omnibus Bill, a linchpin of these reforms, seeks to address critical issues such as political party dynamics, parliamentary floor-crossing, senior official appointments, and the role of the prime minister.

Its failure to pass in the previous parliament led to the declaration of a state of emergency by then-Prime Minister Dr. Moeketsi Majoro.

The subsequent legal wrangling, culminating in the nullification of laws passed during this period, has left the reform process in limbo.

With a fresh legal fight over the reforms initiated by Kananelo Boloetse in August this year now in the Appeal Court, the nation finds itself at a crossroads.

The urgency of these reforms cannot be overstated, as political stability, justice, and peace hang in the balance. The commitment of political parties to drive this process forward is crucial, but it is equally essential for all stakeholders to put national interests above political ones.

As the legal battle continues and the Appeal Court is expected to deliver its judgement on November 17 this year, exactly three weeks from today, the hope is that it will not further impede Lesotho’s path toward meaningful reform.

A timely resolution is imperative for the sake of the nation’s stability, safety, and prosperity. In these critical times, the leadership and guidance of all leaders of political parties and civil, society organisations working together are invaluable.

Ultimately, the fate of Lesotho’s constitutional reforms rests on the shoulders of its leaders. Their decisions in the coming weeks will shape the nation’s trajectory.

It is a call to action that cannot be ignored, for the Lesotho we all desire hinges on the success of these reforms. The time to act is now.

On a celebratory note, we extend our warmest wishes to Ms. Lerato Matheka, the Managing Editor of Newsday Media, as she marks another year of incredible achievements.

Ms. Matheka stands as a shining example, breaking barriers and defying stereotypes in a field where female leadership has been scarce.

Her dedication and trailblazing spirit inspire us all, reminding us that no dream is too big, no challenge too formidable. Happy Birthday, Lavida! May your journey ahead be filled with even more successes and boundless opportunities.

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