Paul Samasumo – Vatican City
Lesotho’s Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), has hailed political parties in the southern African Kingdom of Lesotho for signing, last week, an agreement that should see the enactment of key legislation protecting reforms in the country.
Speaking in an interview with South Africa’s Sheila Pires, of Radio Veritas, Booi Mohapi said the signing of the agreement in the country’s capital, Maseru, was a step in the right direction.
CCJP sectoral meetings
Mohapi said CCJP has conducted and continues to undertake several sectoral awareness programmes in the country. The CCJP-led outreach project has given a voice to many ordinary Basotho who crave political stability in their country. The people, Mohapi noted, want the institution of the King to play a role in the politics of Lesotho.
Lesotho’s King Letsie III, 55 years old, is a constitutional monarch and most of his duties as King are largely ceremonial.
People want change and stability
“People have a lot of issues that they raised and would like to see changed and improved upon to better (the way of doing politics in this country). Some of the things I can single out concern the office of the King. The people really seem to think that the King has to have some powers of control over politicians,” Mohapi said.
Tired of frequent coups and rivalry between the police and army, Mohapi said the people also want a body that would control the security wings. They further wish to see the King play a part in this body too.
Natural resources should benefit Basotho
Other matters, among the many raised from the CCJP sectoral meetings, include limiting the formation of political parties in the country; issues around crossing the floor in parliament and an end to short-lived governments. The people further wish for the government to create mechanisms that would ensure that the natural resources of the country, such as freshwater and diamonds, benefit ordinary Basotho people.
With the agreement signed, The Kingdom of Lesotho, a small country surrounded by South Africa, can now move to enact key legislation protecting the reforms.
Reforms supported by SADC
In recent years, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional body has been working with Lesotho’s politicians to help them institute constitutional, security and governance reforms.
For CCJP, so much is riding on the reforms seen as a milestone to the country finding lasting solutions to its prevalent political crises. Failure is not an option.