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Coalition to rally workers for stayaway


’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE ‘Alliance of Non-State Actors’ says it would lobby support for its stay-away at tomorrow’s Workers’ Day celebrations to be held at different venues across the country.

The stay-away is scheduled for 12 May and seeks to put pressure on the government to “speedily” implement the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Commission of Inquiry recommendations made following an investigation into the killing of former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao last year.

The spokesperson for the alliance, Makama Monese on Friday told the Sunday Express: “We are going to assign people to different places where there will be celebrations marking Workers’ Day on Monday, 2 May. We need to lobby support in all possible ways and we are going to ensure we get what we want.

“Again, starting from next week, we will be campaigning at all factories for more support for this stay-away and the march we will undertake on the same day on our way to presenting our petition to the prime minister.

“We are ready to tackle whatever problem might come our way and we are confident the stay-away and march are going to be a huge success.”

Mr Monese also said the alliance , which comprises trade unions, civil society, and business, would be bussing people from outlying districts to Maseru for the march.

He continued: “There are also some influential faith-based organizations which will be coming on board and we will be meeting their leaders next week to discuss the issue.”

Meanwhile, among the SADC recommendations was the dismissal of army commander Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli “in the interest of restoring trust and acceptance of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) to the Basotho nation”, and the suspension of all LDF officers implicated in cases of murder, attempted murder and treason while investigations into their cases proceed “in line with international best practice”.

The Commission also recommended government should ensure criminal investigations into the death of Lt-Gen Mahao are pursued “vigorously” and that the police are empowered and resourced accordingly for the task. The investigations, the Commission added, should be conducted “expeditiously and comprehensively without any hindrance and that all physical evidence be surrendered and the finality of the investigations should lead to a transparent course of justice”.

Lieutenant-General Mahao was killed on 25 June 2015 outside Maseru by the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) allegedly while resisting arrest for mutiny. He had been fingered as the ringleader of a group of LDF members allegedly plotting to topple the LDF command.

Meanwhile, Communications Minister Khotso Letsatsi last week said the government was already working on the recommendations.

“It’s unfortunate if they don’t recognize these efforts because they can’t be implemented overnight. We have to take them one step at a time,” he said.

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