The 39th Ordinary Summit of Heads of States and Government held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania called upon all stakeholders in Lesotho to remain committed to the reform process and commended the SADC Facilitator for the effective facilitation.
A last-ditch attempt by opposition party youths to stall the passage of the National Reforms Authority (NRA) Bill of 2019 flopped last Thursday as it sailed through parliament without any drama.
A bloc of the opposition successfully resisted government’s motion to suspend a standing order that stipulates that a Bill should be scrutinised by a relevant parliamentary committee before being put to a vote.
The motive was to suspend that procedure so parliament could quickly pass the Bill but opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) outnumbered government MPs and blocked the motion.
Fifty-six MPs voted against the government motion while only 49 gave government the thumps up. National Assembly Speaker Sephiri Motanyane then announced that parliament would be adjourned sine die.
This prompted the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) envoy Justice Dikgang Moseneke to rush to Lesotho to push government to re-open parliament and to also urge the opposition not to block the passing of the Bill. The Bill seeks to establish the National Reforms Authority, an independent body that will oversee the implementation of the multi-sectoral reforms.
The functions of the National Reform Authority will include, among others, being a custodian of national reforms, ensuring the implementation of nationals reforms facilitating the implementation of the decisions of the Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue (MSND).
The reforms were recommended by a Sadc-funded commission of inquiry that was established in 2015 to prevent the country from sliding back into political instability and violence.
The commission was established to consider the core and contributing factors of the lingering political instability thoroughly. The progress in implementing the reforms has been slow and many citizens fear the deteriorating political situation in the country could derail the process.
The Summit, which took place on August 17 and 18, was preceded by the SADC Senior Officials’ meeting from August 9 to 11, a ministerial meeting on August 13 to 14 and SADC Organ Troika Senior officials, Ministerial and Summit on August 16.
President of Tanzania Dr John Pombe Magufuli was elected as Chairperson of SADC and President of Mozambique Mr. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi as the incoming Chairperson of SADC. Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.
SADC is a Regional Economic Community comprising 16 Member States, namely; Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
– Staff Reporter