PM wants SADC help to coax Metsing home

PM wants SADC help to coax Metsing home

MASERU – PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane wants SADC to help persuade self-exiled opposition leader Mothetjoa Metsing to come back home.
Metsing fled the country after alleging that his life was in danger and has insisted that he will not return until government guarantees his safety.
Thabane’s coalition government wants Metsing to participate in the reforms to give the process a semblance of legitimacy and inclusivity.
Already his absence has stalled the reforms that government is eager to complete in line with SADC’s recommendations and deadlines.

Speaking at a meeting with political party leaders who are not MPs, Thabane said he ‘earnestly’ wants the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader to participate in the reforms.
He also wants Metsing’s deputy, Tšeliso Mokhosi, who also fled to South Africa saying his life was in danger, to come back.
Mokhosi fled after alleging that he was on a ‘hit list’ and had been tortured by the police when he was arrested for his alleged links to police constable Mokalekale Khetheng’s murder.
“We earnestly wish for the LCD leader’s presence in the country during the reforms processes,” Thabane said, adding: “So, we are asking SADC to help us bring him back home.”
“No one will do anything to him,” he said.

“We are a special nation founded by Moshoeshoe who said peace was his ally.”
“Those who went into exile should be the last ones. From today I do not want to hear about people who flee this country.”
He bemoaned the political divisions that create animosity between members of different parties “because we as politicians do not work together”.
“Let us all accept the guilt and stop pointing fingers at one another,” he said.

“We should go back to the right track. We have to work together for the sake of our motherland Lesotho, let us turn a new page.”
He also said the past regime pledged to push through the reforms but did not achieve much.
“After being elected we made a little progress but everything stopped because of our conflicts as politicians,” he said.
The LCD and Democratic Congress (DC) have remained adamant that they will not participate in the reforms until Metsing returns home and the government gives assurances that he will not be harmed or arrested.

Meanwhile, Metsing addressed his party rally through telephone where he said he hoped SADC’s new facilitator, Justice Dikgang Moseneke, would seriously consider his security concerns about returning to Lesotho. Metsing said he will go to Pretoria for talks with Justice Moseneke.

He said he strongly believes that Basotho and SADC have now started a journey that will help the country break with its dark history of political killings and instability.
LCD spokesman Teboho Sekata told thepost that he was not aware that Thabane is making efforts to bring back their leader.
“When he (Metsing) is not present we will not say our grievances have been worked out,” Sekata said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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