You bungled, Mosisili tells government

You bungled, Mosisili tells government

MASERU – FORMER Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili says the government has bungled the implementation of the SADC recommendations with ruinous consequences for Lesotho. The killing of Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo is a result of that hasty and poor handling of the recommendations, Mosisili said at a press conference last Friday.

This is the first time Mosisili has spoken about the incident that also led to the death of Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi.
According to the government’s version of the incident Brigadier Sechele and Colonel Hashatsi killed Lt Gen Motšomotšo before they were killed by fellow soldiers.

The government claims the two soldiers were angry that Lt Gen Motšomotšo was about to hand them over to the police who were investigating their alleged involvement in the killing of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao in July 2015. Since the tragic incident different versions of what happened inside Lt Gen Motšomotšo’s office have been bandied around.

The government has said Brigadier Sechele and Colonel Hashatsi went on a suicidal mission but statements from the army seem to indicate that they were part of a group of soldiers that wanted to take over command. The army has said it is now in the hunt for the conspirators.
Mosisili said the incident could have been avoided if the government had been careful in implementing the SADC recommendations.
He said unlike his government which treaded “carefully” the Thomas Thabane government has not been meticulous enough in handling the recommendations.

He said the government had not considered the risk of rushing to implement the recommendations without considering the possibilities of destabilising the army. “It is unfortunate that (my) administration was accused of refusing to implement the recommendations of the Phumaphi Commission,” Mosisili said.

“The fact is the government was following the roadmap approved by SADC.”
“We want to put it on record that in harmony with that roadmap, the government successfully negotiated the smooth exit of Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.”

“Lieutenant General Kamoli’s farewell was accompanied by a big party with ovation. There was no bloodshed.”
Mosisili said the past government understood that it had the responsibility to implement the Phumaphi Commission recommendations but was also “cognisant of the unpalatable results of oblivious and hasty implementation of the recommendations”.

He said his government was “sentient of the divisions in the army and was meticulously doing things in such a way that would not seem to be biased against any faction”. “That was why the government felt it important to apply a general amnesty to avoid a situation where others would be pardoned while others would be thrust to the courts.”

Mosisili called on the government to “approach these issues of the military with great care”. He said because the ongoing arrests, torture of suspects and the recent deaths in the army which are matters of public concern there is need to “set up a security round-table comprising all political parties, in which the government and opposition will directly be represented”.

The former prime minister said inviting a SADC standby force into the country will not bring long-lasting solution.

“In the end, the real solution in Lesotho’s matters will come from Basotho,” Mosisili said. He said in his discussions with SADC he recommended the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission to help in the “general healing of Basotho as a nation”.

Staff Reporter

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