22nd July 2024

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Political flames flare in Lesotho

Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer
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News Meta:

…opposition claims coup in the offing,

…Sadc dispatches special envoy to stop instability

Prime Minister Matekane is fighting tooth and nail to survive an impending no confidence motion, which was last week temporarily interdicted by a last-minute court challenge while opposition claim security service chiefs are plotting a coup as political flames flare up in the kingdom.

Our Reporter

Political tempers are flaring in Lesotho. Again.

This time around, Prime Minister Matekane is fighting tooth and nail to survive an impending no confidence motion, which was last week temporarily interdicted by a last-minute court challenge.

To quell the fires, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) will this Sunday dispatch a special envoy to mediate between Matekane’s government and the opposition.

The latest political stand-off has allegedly resulted in the suspension of processes necessary for the finalisation of the country’s constitutional, security sector and justice reforms.

And now both warring parties have approached Sadc for mediation, with the opposition alleging that the security services are plotting a coup in the event that Matekane is ousted through the no confidence motion. This, because the service chiefs have declared that they would not let Matekane be ousted and let the country slide into instability just a year after the last election.

Matekane wrote to the chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Zambian president, Hakainde Hichilema, on 20 October 2023, to block the no confidence motion filed against him by opposition parties on 13 October 2023.

He accused the opposition of derailing the reforms process by seeking to unseat him when parliament was supposed to be focusing on passing the long pending reforms. He claimed in the letter that the motion against his government was filed by “selfish” members of parliament who were power hungry.

The premier wants the motion of no confidence to be deferred until the finalisation of the national reforms, arguing that the pending 11th Amendment to the Constitution (reforms) would curb incessant no confidence motions against premiers and guarantee stability for the country which has in the last decade registered a staggering five governments.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties, which are seeking to form a new coalition government to replace Matekane’s administration, also petitioned SADC Executive Secretary, Elias Magosi this week.

In their letter dated 23 October 2023, they complained about the recent averments by the Lesotho national security chiefs who vowed that they would not allow any regime change until the reforms which started in 2016 were completed.

They also highlight the statement which was made by the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander, Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela on 21 October 2023, where he said he would not tolerate transferring power from one government to another. When a new prime minister is installed, Lt-Gen Letsoela is responsible for transferring the Lesotho Constitution and national flag from an outgoing premier to his successor.

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Lesotho’s Matekane survives for now as no confidence motion is halted

Lt-Gen Letsoela was addressing his armed forces when he made the statement.

And the opposition said it was anticipating a coup detat in Lesotho and the time was ripe for a Sadc intervention.

While it is still unclear who will be dispatched to Maseru this Sunday, Africa News 24 has established that Sadc is keen to end the latest wave of instability in the troubled tiny mountain kingdom before it spirals into chaos.

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