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Sadc reforms roadmap



In 2014 Lesotho’s First Coalition Government, which came into power in 2012, began to experience a tension that eventually led the country to a political crisis. SADC appointed the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, as Facilitator. It also deployed the SADC Observer Mission to Lesotho (SOMILES).  At the completion of SOMILES the Facilitator produced a report which proposed Security, Constitutional, Judicial, Parliamentary and Public Service reforms.  These recommendations were subsequently adopted by the SADC Summit and several Double Troika Summits that followed. The Second Coalition Government, borne out of the February 2015 Elections, put together a comprehensive reform agenda at the core of its programme, thereby establishing itself as a reformist government.

Following the unfortunate demise of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao on 25th June 2015, the government requested SADC to facilitate the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death.  The Commission made its recommendations. The government accordingly presented its position with regard to the implementation of the recommendations to SADC. In turn SADC urged the government to submit a roadmap on the implementation of the recommendations for consideration during the SADC Summit that was to be held in Swaziland from 30th to 31st August, 2016. The Government of Lesotho has since set up a Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, together with a Committee of Officials, headed by the Government Secretary, to drive the implementation programme.



3.1.1 Rationale
The need to take another look at the Lesotho Constitution of 1993 has been expressed widely by Basotho on radios, newspapers, television and social media. The expression that “Molao oa Motheo o masoba” literally translating to “The Constitution is full of holes” is quite common in Lesotho.
It can safely be said that there is a general consensus about the need to review the current Constitution as it is no longer able to respond to the contemporary political and security challenges that face the country.

At the opening of Parliament on the 8th of May 2015, His Majesty, King Letsie III made a Clarion call for an extensive constitutional review process.
“Dear Members of Parliament and the nation at large, allow me to put before you a special request that as a nation, our constitution needs to be reviewed and strengthened. It is our responsibility to do so for the sake of national peace, security and stability,” he said.
His Majesty repeated this call at Lesotho’s 49th Anniversary of Independence on 2nd October, 2015, in anticipation of Lesotho’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2016.
One of the core purposes of making a new Constitution is to ensure capacity and credibility of the governance institutions and to determine how power and the authority of state should be exercised.

The crafting of a new Constitution, therefore, helps to breathe life into the social and political architecture of the state, and strengthens democratic governance.
It is for this primary reason that all citizens have a sovereign right to take part in the process of constitution making.
The people’s involvement in the process is key because the constitution embodies a social contract that limits the use of power on the part of a legitimately elected government.

3.1.2 Activities to be Implemented

The constitution making process will include the following key activities:

l    Formal launch  of the constitution  making process by The Right Honourable the Prime Minister;
l    Establishment  of a  secretariat,  headed by a Judge of the  High Court, to facilitate the establishment of  the constitution making body;
l    Organising of a stakeholders consultative  conference by the Secretariat;
l    Enacting of legislation to protect the constitution making process by Parliament;
l    Establishment of a constitution making body by the stakeholders;
l    Conducting extensive civic education by the Secretariat and Constitution Making Body;
l    Extensive and all inclusive consultations and validation exercises by the Constitution Making Body;
l    Holding of a referendum by the Independent Electoral Commission.

3.1.3 Progress Made:
In December 2015 Government requested the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide technical assistance on the constitutional reform process.
A consultant was engaged and a document entitled “Lesotho Constitution Building Process: Ideas and Options Paper” was produced and formally adopted by Cabinet in April 2016.
The paper serves as Government’s Official Working Document for engagement with all stakeholders on all aspects of the Constitutional reform process.
It is based on extensive research from countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Liberia and South Sudan.
It spells out the processes and issues that need to be taken into consideration during the constitution-making exercise.
The document also forms the basis for Government’s Roadmap on Constitution Reform.  It is important to mention that the document was presented to the SADC Secretariat during the last Double Troika Summit held in Gaborone, Botswana, in June 2016.


3.2.1 Rationale
Security Sector Reform is key to the achievement of lasting peace, democracy and a stable political, security and social environment which are sine qua non to the attainment of sustainable economic growth and development.
Experience has shown that a Security Sector Reform exercise is a long-drawn process that can take from 20 to 50 years. However, in the specific case of Lesotho, there are immediate challenges which emanate from obvious shortcomings in the laws that govern the security sector. These challenges include:

l    Overlapping of mandates and functions of the different security sector agencies;
l    Relations among the different security sector agencies;
l    Relations between the civilian leadership and the leadership of the security sector agencies;
l    Appointment of the leadership of the security sector agencies;
l    Issues of synergy and complementarity among the different security sector agencies.

3.2.2 Activities to be Implemented

Looking at the nature of the security sector reform imperative in the case of Lesotho as indicated above, a decision has been made to divide the process into short-term and long-term activities. Short-term Activities

The short-term activities of the Security Sector Reform will concentrate largely on the review of laws in order to address the immediate challenges identified above. The process will proceed as follows:

1.    Establishment of the Lesotho Security Sector Reform Committee by the security sector agencies;
2.    Development of a proposal for the review of Security Sector laws by the Lesotho Security Sector Reform Committee;
3.    Submission of the proposal to the Lesotho Law Reform Commission by the Security Sector Reform Committee;
4.    Assignment of a Commissioner (a Judge of the High Court) to lead the project by the Law Reform Commission;
5.    Development of an Analytical Report on the laws that need to be reviewed by the Commissioner;
6.    Organising a stakeholders workshop for consensus building facilitated by the Law Reform Commission;
7.    Establishment of a Technical Committee to:
a.    Conduct further research (if necessary)
b.    Produce a report accordingly
c.    Issue drafting instructions
d.    Facilitate the development of a draft bill by Parliamentary Counsel
e.    Facilitate submission of the bill to Cabinet
8.    Presentation of the bill before Parliament by Government. Long-term Activities

The long term Security Sector Reform process will be undertaken in four phases as follows:

a.    Induction: This includes sensitisation and promotion of buy-in by all stakeholders and the nation  at large;
b.    Assessment: This involves extensive research on the security sector in Lesotho, identification of key stakeholders, and identification of all the areas; to be addressed by the Security Sector Reform;
c.    Implementation;
d.    Monitoring & Evaluation.

3.2.3 Progress Made:

At the initiative of The Right Honourable the Prime Minister, SADC facilitated a Security Sector Reform workshop which was held in Maseru, Lesotho, from 26th to 27th July, 2016.
The workshop was facilitated by experts from the SADC Secretariat, African Union Commission and from some SADC Member States. The UNDP provided part of the funding for the workshop.

The overall objective of the workshop was to sensitise key stakeholders in the Kingdom of Lesotho about the need for security reform, and to familiarise them with the concept, content, processes, challenges and opportunities involved in a Security Sector Reform.
The Workshop came up with key recommendations that were subsequently adopted as decisions of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ held in Maputo, Mozambique on 6th August, 2016;

The outcomes of the Security Sector Reform Workshop have laid the foundation for a Security Sector Reform Roadmap.  The Law Reform Commission has been mandated to lead the process for the review and harmonization of security sector laws as a matter of priority.
An assessment of the deficiencies of the existing legal instruments has been conducted within the Security Sector Ministries.


3.3.1 Rationale
The country has, in recent years, been plunged into constitutional and political crisis due to deficiencies in the legal, administrative and procedural instruments guiding Parliamentary practices and conventions, with particular reference to, inter alia, the formation, management and termination of coalitions, as well as caretaker governments.
An example is in 2014 when the then Prime Minister prorogued parliament when faced with a vote of no confidence and the prospect of some members of parliament from his political party crossing the floor.   This led to a serious political crisis which culminated in the intervention by SADC.  This also brought out the issue of Parliamentary Autonomy.
It became clear therefore that there was an urgent need to reform parliament in order to enhance its autonomy and effectiveness on the one hand, and to strengthen its legislative and oversight functions, on the other hand.

3.3.2 Activities to be implemented

l    Establishing the Parliamentary Reforms Committee;
l    Conducting Parliamentary Capacity Assessment;
l    Enacting the Parliamentary Administration Act;
l    Establishing the Parliamentary Service Commission;
l    Reviewing the Rules of Procedure of both Houses;
l    Developing Joint Standing Orders;
l    Assessing and reviewing all Parliament related laws;
l    Aligning parliamentary practices to the mixed member proportional system;
l    Regulating  issues of floor crossing and vote of no confidence;

3.3.3 Progress Made: Establishing the Parliamentary Reforms Committee:

l    There are ongoing consultations between the two Houses on finalising the membership and the Terms of Reference for the Committee Enacting the Parliamentary Administration Act:

l    Drafting instructions have been developed and are under consideration and review by Law Office (Parliamentary Counsel).


3.4.1 Rationale
The Judiciary of Lesotho, like in any other developing country, has been faced with numerous challenges related to the administration of justice and access to justice itself.
There has been a problem related to backlog of cases in the courts which came as a result of shortage in the number of judges and having only one High Court that sits at the capital, Maseru.   Another challenge has been with regard to the seniority of the Chief Justice versus the President of the Court of Appeal.
The hierarchy of the courts and the issue of the Labour Court that has been treated as a unit of the Ministry of Labour instead of the Judiciary also led to maladministration in the justice system. There has also been a concern by stakeholders that the Judicial Service Commission is not fully representative of all stakeholders that are supposed to play a role in the Commission.  This has led to others questioning the appropriateness and transparency of the appointment process of the judicial officers.

3.4.2 Activities to be implemented

l    Review the composition of the Judicial Service Commission to make it more inclusive and broad based;
l    Enhance provisions that deal with the independence and accountability of the Judiciary;
l    Decentralise the High Court of Lesotho to other regions of the country and annex the Labour Court into the Judiciary;
l    Review  the appointment process of the Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal to align it with international best practice;
l    Review the impeachment proceedings to align them with international best practice.

3.4.3 Progress Made:

l    A Judicial Reform Committee made up of three Judges of the High Court has been set up to drive the judicial reform.
l    The sections to be reviewed have been identified and research is ongoing to review the laws.


3.5.1 Rationale
The current laws governing the Public Service are outdated and do not respond to the challenges of the modern public service and the changing demands of the citizens for services.
There is therefore a need for an overhaul of the Public Service legal framework to bring it into line with international best practice and to make it more responsive to the needs of Basotho for services.

The public services are inaccessible to a large percentage of the populace as most services are centralized, and people have to travel long distances.
Consequently they incur heavy expenses in order to access basic services. This further creates an unnecessary economic burden on such citizens.
Furthermore, the uncontrolled bulging of the workforce has led to a huge wage bill which has created a heavy burden on the fiscus. This has had a limiting effect on financing of capital projects, which are crucial for economic growth and development.

3.5.2 Activities to be Implemented

l    Professionalising the Public Service through the review and harmonisation of the legal and administrative framework.
l    Mainstreaming the wage bill
l    Harmonising the industrial relations climate
l    Enhance performance management systems and develop monitoring and evaluation framework
l    Decentralising the Public Service.

3.5.3 Progress Made:
The Lesotho Public Service Modernisation project, which is supported by the World Bank, was launched in March and will cover a biometric census among others which will enhance planning and fiscal management which are crucial for a comprehensive Public Service reform.
The automation of the public service salaries was completed in July 2016.
A Cabinet Sub-Committee on Decentralisation has been established and operationalised.
There are ongoing discussions with the Commonwealth with regard to technical assistance.


4.1 Rationale
While most of the SADC recommendations will be implemented through the reform programme, there are other decisions which will be addressed administratively and through other means.  These include the following recommendations of the SADC Commission of inquiry headed by Justice Phumaphi:
1.    Granting of Amnesty for LDF officers suspected of mutiny
2.    Suspension of LDF officers implicated in crimes
3.    Investigations into the death of Brigadier Mahao
4.    Removal of Lieutenant General Kamoli as Commander of the LDF

With regard to the granting of amnesty, Government prefers a general amnesty as opposed to a selective exercise.

4.2 Activities to be undertaken

l    Enactment of an amnesty law;

l    Finalisation of a mutually acceptable solution for the exit of Lieutenant General Kamoli.

4.3 Progress Made:

l    The drafting of the amnesty legislation has commenced;

l    Arrangements for the exit of Lieutenant General Kamoli are at an advanced stage.


Local News

Lesotho’s own brandy



ROMA-“Go, eat your food with rejoicing, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart, for already the true God has found pleasure in your works,” so says the Big Book.

Driven by that divine, Mohapi Pule has gone a step further – by coming up with a new type of brandy – to make you merry.
The brandy, Mountain Spels Brandy, will make the heart of the dying man rejoice.
“The healthy nutrients in fruits that make brandy, end up in you when you drink it,” he said.

Pule studied nutrition at the National University of Lesotho.
His brandy is made by fermenting fruits into wine. The wine is then distilled into a brandy. It carries the flavour and the aroma of the original fruits.

The story began when Pule was born in Quthing, Mphaki. He was born to a hardworking mother who brew traditional beer like no other.
“She brew beer well before I was born. She is still making it to this day,” he said.

His passion for brewing was probably “born” even before he was born. Mothers have a hidden way of passing not just their looks but their passions to their children.

As he grew up, he found that he was still intertwined with his mom’s brewing business in one way or another.
“Mostly, I am expected to fetch water for the brewing process. That, I still do to this day when I visit home,” he says.
Two decades later, Pule found himself in the Roma Valley, doing BSc in Nutrition.

“At some point, I found that I had lost purpose in life. There was not a thing that I could say, well, I was passionate about this thing or that thing.”
That situation, of course, threw him into some serious soul-searching.
It brought him back to his roots.

“During this period, I recalled that when I was younger, I used to imagine helping my mom do the packaging of the beer she was making and helping distribute it countrywide,” he said.

From a young age, the issue of subsistence business didn’t appeal to him. But that imagination came and passed. Now here he was, worried that he might not amount to anything in life.

Then, boom! An idea came!
What if he produced an alcoholic drink?

He could have thought about anything to do as a business but, lo and behold! He thought about his mother’s passion!

One of the things he loves about alcoholic beverages is that they are popular.

“I haven’t seen products as popular as alcoholic drinks,” he said.
He might be wrong or right but the reality is, the rest of the world has for generations found delight in alcoholic beverages – some to the extent of overdoing it to their injury!

“Mabele khunoana ralitlhaku thabisa lihoho. Mabele u tsoa kae e le khale re u batla re sa u thole? Ueeeena mabeeeele!” (Loosely translated beer brewed from sorghum make men happy. We’ve been looking for you from afar, you sorghum. In short, this is a praise poem for the Sesotho sorghum brew).
But then came the most difficult part. Which specific beverages should he focus on and how would he do it?

He decided that he would focus on ciders. He realised that not many people in Lesotho were making ciders.

He started experimenting at home and realized how difficult the process was. He just couldn’t get it right. To worsen matters, he also did not have the right equipment.

But like most successful innovators, he just knew that he had to start his business right away.

Pule says he then learnt about other forms of beverages: the spirits. Spirits are very high in alcohol content. Here we are talking the likes of whiskey, vodka and brandy.

He was particularly interested in vodka. He went into one NUL laboratory and, with necessary permission, began testing a number of spirits and doing a lot of research about them.

He began saving some of the money he earned from the National Manpower Development Secretariat in the form of student allowance so he could buy equipment. Saving was not easy. The subsistence money was already not that much. Having to share it with a business was asking a little too much.

But Pule was so determined that he did it, bought equipment that allowed him to develop what he thought was “vodka”.

However, after buying the equipment he immediately realised that the equipment was to make brandy not vodka.

“Now I was forced to get into brandy by chance,” he said.
It was a mistake that he has never regretted having realised that there are very few individuals who were making brandy in Lesotho.

Pule had to throw himself fully into experiments. He read books about brandy production. He even enrolled for an online course on distillation.
In the end, he began to see some light.

“I began to feel some difference in the taste of my produce,” he said. “When I shared my produce with my lecturers, they were over the moon!”
With that encouragement, Pule began packaging his brandy and is now selling it to family and friends.

“My small equipment means that I can’t produce much. However, If I were to get bigger equipment, things would be much better.”

Own Correspondent

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Local News

Ready-to-cook vegetables



ROMA – ’MATUMANE Matela, a National University of Lesotho (NUL)-trained nutritionist, is an example of how a nutritionist should think and act.
Matela makes and sells ready-to-cook vegetables out of produce from her own farm or produce she preferably buys from local farms.
“When I make a dish, as a nutritionist, I make choices that ensure a typical package is packed with nutrition,” Matela said.

Today, we examine an interesting story of the lady who is determined to ensure that you eat healthy despite your busy schedule.
It started with her experiences in life.
She describes herself as an extremely busy woman.
She likes getting things done.
As the busy amongst us will say, the busier you become, the less you watch your diet.
She couldn’t escape the trap!

“My busy schedule meant that I ended up eating junk and I was gaining weight,” she said.
With time, she came to her senses.
As a nutritionist, she recalled that the best way to preach was to preach by example.
So, was she preaching what she practised?
Clearly, she wasn’t.
She had to find an option to maintain the busy schedule and eat healthy at the same time.

The beautiful thing about nutrition is that the healthiest foods are the closest to us: fruits and vegetables.
Some scientists even claim that our bodies seem to be designed to thrive on fruits and vegetables.
“Have you ever wondered why looking at a ripe raw peach on a tree is mouth-watering but looking at a fat cow isn’t?” asked one scientist.
Well, whether we were designed for fruits and vegetables or not, the truth is that they are good for our bodies.
That’s what good science tells us.

And we somehow “know it” too if you have heard about anything called intuition.
So one day she found herself increasingly eating fruits and vegetables.
It’s easier to change a religion than a diet, they say.
So it is commendable that she changed her diet at all.
“The idea was to chop as much vegetables as possible and put them in a fridge so that in future, I will just pull them out and cook.”
She wasn’t proposing something new.
Who amongst us doesn’t enjoy the convenience of just pulling up chopped frozen vegetables and cooking?

Little did she know that what she was doing was putting her on a path to a brilliant business.
It took a post on a social media to achieve just that.
“I took a pic of the chopped and packaged vegetables and posted them on my social media account. The reaction was swift. I began getting questions like, “how much?””
It immediately dawned on her that she could be sitting on a great business idea, after all.

So she gave it a try and started selling.
To her surprise, people started buying.
In fact, “I get orders for my products almost on a daily basis.”
That is how interested people really are.
This to an extent that her business now gets up to four irregular employees, she included, when the demand is high.
She said her training in Agriculture, Home Economics and Nutrition has helped her to give a thought into what she was doing.

For instance, where possible, she grows her own crops and sells them as first preference.
She has grown spinach, butternut, green pepper, onion, herbs and beans.
She is also in the process of renting more fields to grow more vegetables.
Then she empowers Basotho producers by requesting them to supply.
Going for foreign produce is the last resort.
Look at her packages and you realise something.
The “7 colours” proverb comes alive.

Those seven colours (several colours actually) may have been designed to appeal to your eyes but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The colours of vegetables mean a lot in terms of nutrition.
Each colour gives you something different.
So, the more colours in one meal, the merrier.
To drive this home, let’s go a scientific route for a second.
Red, Blue and Purple: These vegetables contain substances that are good at reducing the risk of stroke, cancer and memory problems.
White: The likes of onion or garlic may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer and heart disease.

Orange and Yellow: Carrots immediately come to mind.
These vegetables contain substances called carotenoids which may help improve your immune system and help to improve the health of your eyes.
Basotho, it would appear, have long known a thing or two about the relationship between carrots and eyes.
Hence the famous saying, “o jele lihoete” (they ate carrots), often applied to good sportsmen or women with symbolically “good eyesight”.

Green: Green is life. Green vegetables come packed with chlorophyll, a chemical that scientists believe can boost your immune system, eliminate fungus in your body, clean your blood, lead to healthy intestines and give you boundless energy.
As a bonus, her Home Economics background is such that she is armed with a host of recipes for each of the packages she sells.
She has great dreams for the future.
“I want to see my products decorating the shelves of big supermarkets,” she said.
It’s time!

Own Correspondent

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A new, co-operative chain store



ROMA – ’MAKUENA Lesiea is spearheading the creation of a cooperative chain store that will sell Lesotho products only.
The store is being developed under the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Innovation Hub and it will be incubated by the Hub.
“Have you seen it? Basotho are producing like never before,” Lesiea said.
“However, their products are hard to see in the markets. We want to change all that.”

The store, she said, will open branches in all districts of Lesotho, starting from Maseru.
Visit any supermarket in Lesotho and check the products on the shelves.
You will be shocked to realise that, in general, just one percent of them are made in Lesotho.
The other 99 percent comes from elsewhere.
Is it because Basotho are not producing or can’t produce at all?

“Having worked directly with the NUL Innovation Hub and the Tsa Mahlale TV programme under the Hub, I have travelled the depth and breadth of Lesotho and I was amazed at the amount of work Basotho are doing,” she said.
What is the problem?
Basotho products are not given sufficient platforms to prove themselves.
“Credit where it is due, some shops are beginning to accept and sell Basotho products,” she said.

“However, they are barely making a dent because Basotho products, being at their infancy, cannot receive full attention unless by a store that is designed to give them full attention.”
Such a store doesn’t exist.

She said the idea is not to compete with any of the existing stores because “we are getting into a new territory altogether, we are addressing a different market”.
So listen to Lesiea as she presents some features of the store that will surely persuade you to join the bandwagon:

  1. Customer and producer confidence: The store, she said, will achieve two things.
    First, when they see masses of Lesotho-made products in one place, Basotho customers will slowly grow confidence in them.
    The confidence will shoot to the roof when the customers experience that many of the products made in Lesotho are already way ahead of foreign competitors in terms of quality.
    Secondly, the store will give Basotho producers an assurance that their products have, at least, one store that is willing to take them, dark or blue.
    More production will come from such assurance.
  2. Selling “everything”: The store will sell everything from fruits and vegetables to processed foodstuffs to clothing and building materials (if Thabure car will be in production by then, it will be on the shelves too).
    “Suppose what we want to sell is not locally made, we will never cross the border, any border, to find its equivalence. We will encourage Basotho to produce it until they do.”
  3. We mean business: whereas Basotho are beginning to produce, their products are still all over the place.
    You bump across them in some few willing stores, in expos and trade shows, or as being sold by individual resellers. Those are good efforts, but they are not enough. In fact, many in Lesotho have come to see producing and selling as being more of an art, a hobby, a therapy or a hustling than a business, “so we are seriously moving away from such a casual approach, we mean business this time around.”
  4. Ownership: So when you enter this store, you could be purchasing a product made by you in a store owned by you. What a difference!
  5. Reasonable standards: the store will only demand reasonable standards. As a struggling Mosotho, try taking your products to some of the local shops and you are, at worst, turned away without reason or, at best, given a long list of standards you must meet before they can take your product.
    “In our case, as long as your products are reasonably of good quality, you are in. NUL Innovation Hub is already testing many Basotho products. We won’t ignore quality, but we won’t use it as a way to prevent Basotho products from growing either.”
  6. A cooperative chainstore: From contributing as little as M50 per month, members will use a continuous financing model to ensure that the store doesn’t just end in Maseru but reaches the ten districts of Lesotho.
    Each branch will start at a medium scale in order to grow along with Basotho products. We won’t ask for investors to come from anywhere, “we will be investors ourselves.”
  7. An export launch pad. “We are often told to export our produce. The obvious question is, if you haven’t convinced your own people to consume your own products, how can you convince people in other lands to do so? Why should they take you seriously?”
    However, the store is not meant to be a local store forever.
    It will be a means by which we export our products to other countries in the future.
    When we export the store to Soweto, we export it along with products from Lesotho.
    Don’t say no because we have seen Chinese shops and Indian shops and, of course, South African shops, filled to the brim with Chinese products and Indian products and South African products in many countries.
    “If they can do it,” Lesiea ended, “so can we.”
    “Because if it is there in some of us, it is there in all of us.”

Own Correspondent

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