Tackle deep-seated  divisions, says Lehohla

Tackle deep-seated divisions, says Lehohla

MASERU – FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Lesao Lehohla says there is need to tackle the deep-seated issues that continue to divide the nation during the SADC-driven national reforms.
Lehohla was speaking at a dialogue session organised by Development for Peace Education (DPE) for individuals it says are likely to be “left out” during the upcoming national reforms programme.

The dialogue was held on Monday.
The civic group argues that the views of former army generals, ex-police commissioners, former National Security Service (NSS) bosses and chiefs who are not in the senate are likely to be “left out” during the dialogue.

Lesotho is embarking on a reform programme to stabilise the country following decades of political strife. The crisis went a gear up last year following the assassination of Lesotho army commander Lt Gen Khoantle Motšomotšo.

Lehohla states that the country is in deep crisis with experiments with coalition governments not working smoothly.
“I wonder what is going on. We have coalition governments that do not work harmoniously,” he said.
He said he had hoped that the coalition governments would not repeat mistakes done by preceding single party regimes.
He said he thought the current coalition government would not make mistakes done by other governments but it is making the same mistakes like its predecessors.
“We are separated, everyone is pushing their agenda,” he said.

“If every household could be searched, 90 percent of them would be found with firearms for protection. This shows that we do not trust each other,” Lehohla said.
“No one has to feel threatened, there has to be a healthy tension between politicians.”
Former agriculture minister, ’Mamosa Molapo, who was one of the organisers of the meeting, said the dream was to have a country which everyone wants.
She said the opinions of all Basotho must be canvassed.

“On our roadmap, we have considered that we have over 50 years of independence, but the question is, are we still on the right track?” Molapo said.
She said in November last year, the government released a roadmap document which included the consensus on where Basotho would like to go.
Molapo said Basotho have been separated through politics for decades. She however said it is their hope that Basotho will be reconciled through these reforms.

“The objective of these reforms is to provide unity, stability, reconciliation, professional institutions and avoid hiring people (on the basis of) political affiliation,” she said.
“These reforms are for Basotho not politicians, we need transparency and accountability, dialogue and consensus. The plan is that every Mosotho should participate and be open without fearing anybody.”

Speaking on behalf of the government, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lesego Makgothi, said the coalition government had promised SADC that it will heed their advice to ensure the reforms succeed.
He said the government is committed to looking into the issue of killings and prisoners who are dying in custody.
“These reforms are not going to take a long time, all we want is to stabilise the nation. For now we have to prepare ourselves first and forget about the past and move on,” Makgothi said.

Itumeleng Khoete

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