SADC urges Lesotho to implement transitional justice

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By Staff Reporter

The 41st meeting of the SADC head of State and Government has urged Lesotho to expedite ongoing national reforms and gave a green light to the implementation of the controversial transitional justice and reconciliation process.

This was communicated in a communique of the released-on August 18 following the completion of the meeting of the head of state and government held in Lilongwe in the Republic of Malawi.

The transitional justice and reconciliation process has sparked controversy in the country with the All Basotho Convention, Basotho Action Party, Basotho National Party and families of victims of atrocities caused by political and security disturbances calling for a draft law on national peace and unity presented to parliament to be discarded.

But other political parties that included the Democratic Congress, Lesotho Congress for Democracy, Movement for Economic Change called for the adoption of the draft law and implementation of the transitional justice and reconciliation process to promote national unity.

But the transitional justice and reconciliation process detractors argued the country need to focus more on holding perpetrators of crimes of treason, murder and attempted murder accountable and prosecuted to the full extend of the law.

But now this august meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of State and Government was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu owing to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro testing positive to Covid-19.

The summit received a progress report from the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho President of the Republic of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa on the implementation of SADC decisions in the Kingdom.

The Summit commended the Kingdom of Lesotho for progress made in implementing SADC decisions and the ongoing reforms. The reforms efforts in Lesotho have been Shepherded by former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa Dikgang Moseneke.

The communique said the summit also urged the Kingdom of Lesotho to expedite completion of the ongoing reforms, and to continue with peace, transitional justice and reconciliation process to engender national unity, and bring about national healing and cohesion.

It also noted that the summit recommended an extension of the mandate of the National Reform Authority for a period of six months, from 30th October 2021 to 30th April 2022.

Adding that the summit commended the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho President Ramaphosa, for his dedication and continued facilitation, and extended his mandate as the SADC Facilitator until the 42nd Summit of Heads of State and Government.

The summit commended the people and the Government of the Republic of Zambia, for conducting successful elections, and congratulated H.E. Hakainde Hichilema for winning the elections.

The Summit thanked President Edgar Chagwa Lungu for his leadership and contribution to SADC development and integration during his tenure as President of Zambia and for nobly accepting the results of the 2021 Presidential elections in the Republic of Zambia.

Th communique also said the Summit received updates on the Security Situation in Cabo Delgado Province, in Northern part of the Republic of Mozambique, and commended SADC Member States for pledging personnel and providing financial support towards the deployment of SADC Standby Force to Mozambique.

It added that the Summit commended the United Republic of Tanzania for offering to host the Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre, which will offer dedicated and strategic advisory services to the Region on terrorism threats.

The summit, the communique noted it received reports on the socio-economic overview in the region, regional food and nutrition security, gender and development, HIV-AIDS, and on the implementation of the 40th Summit Theme, “SADC 40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges” and commended the Outgoing Chairperson of SADC, H.E Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique, for his exemplary leadership during his tenure.

It added that the Summit reaffirmed SADC’s position that the creation of the SADC Central Bank and Monetary Union, as a long-term objective to be premised on fulfilling pre-conditions that include, the harmonization of the fiscal and monetary policies of SADC countries, and greater convergence of banking systems. In this regard, the African Monetary Institute and the African Central Bank should be long-term objectives.