Basotho Action Party fights ‘draconian’ national unity and unity bill

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By Lineo Ramatlapeng

Basotho Action Party (BAP) has in a statement accused Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s administration of promoting human rights violations by tabling in parliament a draft law intended to pardon murder accused politicians and soldiers.

In a statement, the media and communication officer of BAP, Motlatsi Maqelepo said the stance of the party on the intention of the government to see a commission pardoning politicians who committed crimes and violated human rights through the enactment of the national peace and unity commission bill of 2021.

The party said it has been taken aback by the way government and corrupt politicians are taking the nation for a fool by founding a commission that will eliminate their crimes, while all Basotho are expected to appear before courts of law for similar crimes.

Maqelepo in the statement said what is clear is that politicians facing criminal charges do not want to appear in courts like everyone, “they want to create a law that will grant them forgiveness without considering justice for the victims of their crimes”.

Maqelebo said the former Justice and Law Minister, leader of the party Professor Nqosa Mahao was only doing his job when he worked on the national peace and unity bill.

Maqelebo said Mahao was taken out of office before he could complete his work on the bill as he had concerns for what the law means for the victims of human rights violations.

He said it is a tradition when formulating laws in Lesotho to pass it to the chief justice before parliament to verify that the law does not contest with the country’s constitution.

Maqelebo added that the chief justice can only issue a certificate that approves that the law is correct hence the party does not believe that the peace and unity bill was approved because according to the constitutional law Lesotho section 2 clearly states that it is the main law and any law against cannot be accepted as on.

He said the national peace and unity bill conflicts with section 19 of the constitution that provides that “the right to equality before the law and equal protection of the law”.

Maqelebo said the politicians create their own laws without looking into this section of the constitution and feel superior to Basotho and the rule of law to avoid appearing in the courts for crimes they committed.

Maqelepo said the bill also conflicts with section 18 of the constitution that provides that “no law shall make a provision that is discriminatory either of itself or its effect”.

He said the party makes an appeal to Basotho to protect the constitution of the country which it said is the last hope for every Mosotho.