Roadmap for security reforms

Roadmap for security reforms

MASERU – THE National Reforms Authority (NRA) says it will soon come up with a roadmap that will guide security sector reforms and build domestic consensus through promotion of national dialogue.
Addressing the NRA indaba on the reforms for the security sector on Monday, Chief Pelele Letsoela said Lesotho has a long history of political instability and security challenges including the politicisation of security agencies.

Chief Letsoela said it is evident that the instability had resulted in the violation of people’s basic human rights and other problems in the past.
He said it was precisely because of the instability in the security sector that Lesotho was now embarking on the national reforms to stabilise the country.
“Rule of law, good governance and human rights must be observed,” Chief Letsoela said.

He said the NRA has recorded some significant gains since it was established last year.
He said they have produced 45 constitutional draft bills while 14 were referred to committees for modification.
He said in the roadmap Basotho want further consultations with the king who is the head of government, government ministries, women’s groups, and the youth.

He also said the drafting must be done by experts who will capture what was said at the multistakeholder forum.
The NRA CEO, Mafiroane Motanyane, said the reforms must be inclusive and experts should be roped in to work on the drafts.
He said the reforms must never lose sight of the values and interests of Basotho.

Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu said Lesotho is overwhelmed by transnational organised crime, human trafficking and cybercrime.
He said Lesotho “is not an island but an active member of the global village”.
“The issue of security at a global level is becoming (much more complex) day in day out,” Mokhothu said.

He said this calls for more ingenuity in our quest to find a lasting solution to the ever-increasing security challenges locally, regionally, and globally.
He urged the NRA security sector stakeholders to be mindful that the roadmap that they were going to formulate should be agile and flexible enough to catch up with the ever-diverse, dynamic, and volatile security challenges.

Justice Minister Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane said while the government would have loved to provide more resources to the NRA, this was not possible because it was going through tough times.
“The situation (has been) exacerbated by the Covid-19 (pandemic),” Rakuoane said.
He said he instructed his deputy to work on some office issues while he focuses on the reforms, “so that I see and discuss the problem”.
He said he will soon take the NRA drafts to Parliament where the matters will be discussed before they are implemented.

A member of the NRA, Teboho Tolo, said Lesotho does not have a national security strategy and policy.
He said Basotho saw it important to have such a policy to guide them.
He also said the national security policy will explain national values, goals, and interests.

“The killings are rife in Lesotho and Lesotho is now number six on the murders done to women, men, children, and the elderly in the world,” Tolo said.
He said the policy should be developed through dialogue with representatives of all national stakeholders.
He also said the army, the National Security Service (NSS), the police and the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) will have their own strategies.

Nkheli Liphoto

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