I will implement SADC decisions if I’m alive – Lesotho PM

By Timo Shihepo

Pretoria – Lesotho Prime Minister Dr Thomas Thabane has vowed to formulate a roadmap by November 2017 aimed at implementing SADC decisions, provided that he is not assassinated.

SADC has given the November deadline to Thabane to have a road map to implement decisions aimed at finally bringing peace and stability to the southern African Kingdom, which has been battling political instability since 2014.

Lesotho’s new Prime Minister, who took office on the 16th June this year, as part of a coalition government, will have to implement the SADC elements, three years after he was targeted by a coup and the murder of his estranged wife also in June this year.

Part of the SADC decisions require Thabane to fire Lesotho’s Defence Force (LDF) Commander, Lieutenant General Tladi Kamoli.

SADC says this element is critical because Lieutenant General Kamoli need to be investigated for the death of former LDF Commander Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao who was fatally shot by fellow members of the LDF.

The LDF claims that the intention was to arrest him for his alleged involvement in a mutiny plot within the army.

At the request of the government of Lesotho, SADC constituted a 10 member of Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Brigadier Mahao.

The commission found no evidence of Brigadier Mahao resisting arrest, hence the need for Lieutenant General Kamoli to be relieved of his duties and be investigated.

SADC has also requested for an amnesty that will cover the detained mutiny suspects and ensure the safe return of all members of the LDF who have fled Lesotho for the lives. Other elements request Lesotho to tighten the country’s constitution, which is deemed to have loopholes that lead to political and security instability.

Speaking to The Southern Times newspaper in Pretoria, South Africa last week, Thabane said he has no doubt that he and the country will implement the SADC decisions for the sake of peace in the kingdom.

“You know I implement things. I will implement these elements. I have implemented worse things than these (elements). Certainly I will meet the November deadline. There is just a need to make sure that I am alive,” he said.

Speaking at the just end 37th SADC Summit of heads of state and government, new SADC Chairperson and South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma said SADC has welcomed the commitment of the new Lesotho government to implement SADC decisions.

He said the region has noted with appreciation the relative security and tranquillity in the region with notable challenges in Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“In this regard, we have urged Lesotho to submit a clear time-bound roadmap on the implementation of all SADC decisions and Commission of Inquiry by November 2017,” he said.

August 2017
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