It is time for high-minded politicians

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IF there was a time when Lesotho needed high-minded politicians who are prepared to rise above self-interest then it is now when all stakeholders need to sit at the table and chart the way forward on the implementation of multi-sectoral reforms.

That we need reforms is something which is clear even to the foreigner with nothing more than a fleeting interest in the affairs of our beautiful but troubled country.

Ours is a country where the army has routinely involved itself in the affairs of government with disastrous consequences for peace, stability and ultimately socio-economic development.

Ours is a country where army commanders have been assassinated as the cases of the killings of Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo and Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao prove.

It is also a country where soldiers have raided police stations and killed police officers in the process.

To crown it all, we have such an unstable political system where governments have failed to last beyond two years with the result that we have held three elections in the space of just five years with money that could have been channelled to development projects.

We could write a book but we are sure this few examples suffice to show that we need constitutional, security sector and governance reforms among others.

There is no greater patriotism at this juncture than for political players across the divide to unite and give to the country what it needs the most.

We even have our colleagues from the regional Southern Africa Development (SADC) to assist us in the process of planning and implementing the reforms.

This is why we find it difficult, if not impossible to understand the stance of the opposition of throwing spanners into the process.

As we report elsewhere, the opposition have re-iterated their stance to boycott the upcoming multi-sectoral reforms process on the grounds that their leaders remain in exile.

We do not know what more they need for the said leaders to return to the country after government already assured them and SADC that there would be full security for them upon their return to the country.

Even more worrying is the fact that the opposition have also trained their guns on SADC as well, claiming that the deployment of the SADC Standby Force to Lesotho meant the reforms process would be conducted “at gunpoint”.

SADC did not just wake up and deploy to Lesotho for a picnic. After all it was the same parties when they were in government who invited SADC to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder of Lt-Gen Mahao.

Those investigations started a chain of events which we will not narrate here save to say that they led to the current deployment.

So to say portray the SADC force as an invasion force is dangerous politicking which should not come from any opposition that takes itself seriously.

To even compare the Lesotho and Zimbabwean situations when they are completely different scenarios is to deliberately miss the mark.

On what grounds does the opposition want SADC to intervene in Zimbabwe where former President Robert Mugabe was recalled from the position by his own party and subsequently resigned?

Here in Lesotho, we cannot have the opposition cherry-picking the circumstances in which they want SADC to intervene.

They have a historic moment to participate in reforms and set the country on the path to recovery.

If the opposition miss this appointment with history, then they will only have themselves to blame when they are recorded as the villains who failed the country when it needed them.

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Sunday Express is Lesotho's only Sunday newspaper. Published every Sunday and distributed nationwide.  News: editor@sundayexpress.co.ls | Advertising: marketing@sundayexpress.co.ls | Telephone: +266 2231 5356

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