Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Prime Minister (PM) Dr. Moeketsi Majoro has issued a stern warning on leaders, charging them to ensure unity within their constituencies. This he said last Friday at ‘Manthabiseng Convention
Centre during the National Reforms Authority’s (NRA) stakeholders’ consultation under the theme “Towards Securing Sustainable Peace, Political Stability, National Unity, Reconciliation and
Social Justice in Lesotho”. The NRA Act mandates the authority to promote long term national stability and unity as well as recommend the mechanisms for peace
and reconciliation. The PM’s hard talk was arguably motivated by the chaos that broke as a result of divergent views on whether or not the government should withdraw its sponsored controversial National Peace and Unity Bill, 2021
which was tabled in May in the National Assembly by the Minister of Justice and Law Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane. Should the bill see light of the day, the
perpetrators of human rights violations and atrocities will be pardoned provided they make genuine confessions before the National Peace and Unity Commission, to be established upon the launch of the bill.
Dr. Majoro said the leadership plays a critical role in unifying the nation. “As Leaders, we owe it to our Country and People, to unify Basotho and lead this country to prosperity.
It is through you that Basotho will heal,” the Premier said. He further told the leaders to work on identifying peace within and extend it to the nation thereafter.
“Peace and stability should naturally lead to prosperity. As we move forward, let us not forget our traditional peace
building mechanisms, and where other nations have gained success in resolving crises, let us not hesitate to take lessons learnt, tailor them to our context,
and resolve our situation. The motivation and drive to maintain this process should begin from within each of us. Let us take on a positive attitude to
conflict, so that we do not fight against one another when conflict arises, but instead, boldly resolve it with a view to strengthening our solidarity as a
nation. Should we be true to this, conflict resilience will be a legacy and inheritance for future generations; a legacy that will be a solid bedrock for
sustainable peace and national prosperity,” Dr Majoro remarked. He went on to show that the reforms process belongs to every Mosotho adding that “their ownership of this process will be the key
to its success, because over and above the categories of victim or perpetrator, mediator or instigator, each one is a Mosotho”. The NRA Chairperson Chief Pelele Letsoela
underscored that the reforms are about the future generations. “We cannot afford to fail,” he said. Chief Letsoela appealed for the collective effort to
“boldly march forward”. The European Union (EU) Head of Delegation in Lesotho Dr.
Christian Manahl warned that “legislation alone will not reform minds and hearts [of the nation]”. Dr. Manahl further said through the reforms exercise
the nation can turn a page of Lesotho’s turbulent past and forge forward for the better future. He also highlighted that reconciliation can be achieved through the “forgiveness” between the perpetrator and the victim.
The EU Head of Delegation made mention that amnesty and forgiveness can “complement” one another but hastened to show that the approach to be adopted should be such that the process in not compromised.
He encouraged the people to draw inspiration from King Moshoeshoe I’s approach to social issues and from their traditions. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Resident Representative Betty Wabunoha committed the United Nations (UN) endeavour to walk the journey with Lesotho adding that the journey is “complex
but achievable”. She said the nation should be inspired by Lesotho Vision 2020, which aspires for a “stable democracy, a united and prosperous nation at peace with itself and its
neighbours”. Taking note of transitional justice as articulated in the Plenary II report, she said it has different meaning to different people. The UNDP Resident Representative mentioned that
reconciliation requires the positive relationships and that communities are understood and shared values. The forum was envisaged to “engender consensus among
Basotho on National Reconciliation, and afford victims a platform for engagement with a view to promoting healing and reconciliation. ” The NRA convened this forum acting on the decisions
contained in the Multi-stakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II Report which advocates for the implementation of “an all-encompassing Transitional Justice Commission (TJC)” which is
believed to be “suitable to Lesotho’s context to address incidents of human rights violations and injustices, with a focus on reconciliation, peacebuilding, reparation, compensation without compromising justice and
impunity, to address all things that have turned Basotho nation against each other”. The NRA is a statutory body which is established through NRA Act No. 4, 2019.
It is charged with the mandate to “manage, coordinate and lead” reforms process on the nations ambitions as contained in the Plenary II document and is it accountable to both houses of parliament (the
Senate and National Assembly). The recommendations made in this forum will be consolidated into the report which will be submitted to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator to Lesotho, President Cyril Ramaphosa who will table that progress report before the SADC submit in August.