Why dialogue was postponed

Why dialogue was postponed

MASERU – JUSTICE Minister, Lebohang Hlaele, says the government had to postpone the political leaders’ dialogue on reforms after the opposition, cultural and business groups demanded to be part of the process. The dialogue was supposed to take place last Thursday and Friday but had to be moved to August 23 and 24.
Hlaele said the groups told Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who was appointed by SADC facilitator on Lesotho, President Cyril Ramaphosa, that they felt left out of the process.
He said Justice Moseneke then informed the government about the opposition’s position.

Lesotho’s opposition parties have been adamant that they will not take part in the reforms process as long as exiled leader, Mothetjoa Metsing, is still in South Africa.
Metsing, who leads the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), fled Lesotho last year claiming his life was in danger.
Metsing’s deputy in the LCD, Tšeliso Mokhosi, also fled the country after he was allegedly tortured by the police.
The opposition has also demanded that former Lesotho army commander, Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli, who has been in remand prison for the past 11 months, should be released or tried in the courts of law.
Lt Gen Kamoli is facing a litany of charges ranging from murder to attempted murder.
The opposition argues that Lt Gen Kamoli should have his day in court or be released on bail.
Hlaele said the government honoured Justice Moseneke’s decision to have the dialogue postponed because “we want these reforms to be as inclusive as possible”.
He said they however advised Justice Moseneke not to postpone the dialogue by a month as they wanted the matters dealt with as soon as possible.
“He agreed to postpone (by) two weeks and the Prime Minister adhered to that,” he said.

Hlaele also said preparations are in progress for the exiled leaders to come back to Lesotho.
“Opposition parties appointed former Prime Minister (Pakalitha Mosisili) to represent them and one of his recommendations was for Metsing to come back home safely,” he said.
He also said the other recommendation was that Lieutenant General Kamoli’s case be set down for hearing.

“He also said they want the government to stop politically motivated arrests and the Prime Minister told him that he did not understand what they meant by that,” he added.
Hlaele also said they had since written a second letter to Metsing urging him to come back home. He said the government had assured him that his safety will be guaranteed.
“This letter was sent to (President) Ramaphosa as (Justice) Moseneke stands for him. They promised to pass the letter to Metsing,” he said.
He also said they agreed that this was their last attempt to ask Metsing to come back home.

“We will work out all their grievances but if he does not come back we will continue (with the reform process). No man will hold this country hostage,” he said.
“We hope Metsing will sympathise with Basotho and come back home so that the reforms are successfully done. We are only talking about Metsing because Mokhosi still comes to Lesotho without obstacles and Mokhothu (DC deputy leader) is here,” he said.

He also said Lieutenant General Kamoli is just like any ordinary Mosotho.
“According to us, he is not even a politician. We do not know why they are talking about him,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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