Thabane says  reforms urgent

Thabane says reforms urgent

MASERU – PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane says recent disturbances in the army have made the implementation of security and constitutional reforms more urgent. And SADC has now made those areas top priorities for Lesotho in its reform process.
“On top of all SADC reiterated that the reforms on security and the constitution should be top priority,” Thabane said at a press conference on his arrival from the United Nations General Assembly in the United States.

SADC had earlier decided that there must be reforms in the judiciary, public service, parliamentary, media, security and the constitution.
But after the assassination of army boss Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo earlier this month, which was followed by an assessment by the regional bloc’s experts, the decision was to prioritise security and constitutional reforms.
That, of course, does not mean that the other reforms will be neglected.

The previous government had a roadmap of how it was going to reform the six sectors but SADC and critics have deemed the implementation process too slow.
In the meantime, the divisions in the army escalated further exacerbating the security instability.
Thabane said although he had already started implementing the SADC decisions, that included purging the army of rogue elements, “I made a new commitment that I will quickly implement the decisions”.
“Furthermore, the government will facilitate the participation of the public in general in the implementation of SADC decisions in regard to the reforms,” Thabane said.

“I therefore ask all the people to prepare to take part,” he said.
“I make a pledge to you Basotho that the government will do its utmost to ensure that the SADC mission’s work is not hampered,” he said.
“I therefore ask you to cooperate.”

Thabane also said when he was at the UN General Assembly starting from last week, he talked to the UN Secretary General who pledged to help Lesotho in its journey of the reforms. He also said he had a similar meeting with the Commonwealth Secretary General who also promised support for the reforms.

Both the UN and Commonwealth condemned the assassination of Lieutenant General Motšomotšo and Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao within the space of two years “by people who have turned themselves into rebels within the Lesotho Defence Force”.
Thabane said it was embarrassing that Lesotho is always on top in the SADC agenda, not with good things, but with bad ones.
Thabane bemoaned the killing of Motšomotšo “at a time when he had started implementing the recommendations” of SADC.
The government and the army say the general was shot because he had decided to hand over to the police soldiers implicated in crimes of murder, attempted murder and treason as recommended by the SADC Commission.

Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi, who are accused of killing Motšomotšo, were among those implicated in the killing of Mahao.
Hashatsi was the commander of the Special Forces, part of which killed Lisebo Tang near the home of former commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli. The two officers were accused of taking part in a raid at the police stations and the State House, the prime minister’s official residence, in August 2014.

Staff Reporter

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