Leaders set to discuss amnesty law

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By Lerema Pheea

The National Reforms Authority (NRA) is on a campaign to engage stakeholders ahead of the convening of a national forum on peace, unity, and reconciliation set to be held on July 21-23.

The convening of the meeting follows the formulation and tabling before the national assembly of Lesotho the National peace and unity bill 2021 that sparked controversy and public debates on whether it comes as a ploy to set free by granting amnesty to treason, murder, and attempted murder charged soldiers and politicians.

But, Mafiroane Motanyane, the chief executive officer of the authority said their work as NRA is to balance amnesty and prosecution and their tentative date for the national forum is July 21-23.

Motanyane said it is a command from Basotho to work with in accordance with the National dialogue plenary II report which highlighted the need for an institution of the transitional justice commission.

Motanyane continued to say that NRA has been given a task to gaze on how these issues can be approached in order to reach peace and unity without compromising on rule of law and justice but to attempt to balance justice and forgiveness.

He added that if they can correctly deal with those strategies, they have committed to themselves to work with, this will be very helpful to pave a way for the reforms that are underway.

He said NRA has taken this head-on from the beginning.

“Last year in December, NRA made a decision that this issue of peace, unity, and reconciliation of the nation must be first discussed by Basotho in order for NRA to be aligned with the decisions the public will have reached,” Motanyane said.

He said even if they went to the public, it was by the discussion that brought NRA into existence while the National dialogue planning committee (NDPC) was at leadership.

He further explained that because of the biggest and sensitivity of this work they are facing, NRA has advised itself that issues ought to be discussed by Basotho first.

Motanyane said this discussion would be the pinnacle of the national forum the NRA is campaigning for and anticipates that national leaders and the representatives of the public across various sectors shall participate and come up with the Lesotho homegrown peace, unity, and reconciliation document which they will own.

“Because of coronavirus that hinders us to have a meeting with the leadership of this country from last year, we have advice ourselves with the government to postpone the day until the situation allows us.

“…NRA is in the process to advice itself in order to allow the opinions of the public to suggest their perspectives and what they want on this day that was postponed many times so they will come up with something that can be turned to be a law that is formed from the opinion of Basotho, not from a certain person or people,” said Motanyane.

He continued to say that NRA has desires to have a meeting on the 21-23 July 2021 with the leadership and representatives of the public in all sectors to have a discussion on the peace, unity reconciliation bill in order to submit their views.

He added, “we are ought to have a discussion to reach a decision on transitional justice on how it can be reached and what does it include”.

Motanyane said the right decision must be reached and everything on transitional justice presented clearly and the day when this transitional justice will begin and when it will end because it has been a longer the public have wronged each other.

“…we ought to agree together on who will continue to put transitional justice on the action with who and in what manner so that it will be easier for NRA to issue the right bill that will go to a parliament as it is commanded by the public,” said Motanyane.

Motanyane said that reforms are not an event but a process because this work given to NRA is not something that can take short time.

He said the plenary II report provides that these reforms are divided into three parts namely; short term, medium, and long.

Motanyane also said those who are going to work on these reforms must have ownership of them so that they can rightly make what is expected because these reforms are a plan of Basotho to see Lesotho the way they like it to be.