PRIME Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Economic Political Advisor, Dr Fako Likoti, has distanced the government from a strongly-worded article he wrote criticising the United States for its posture on Lesotho.
In the article, whose contents were published in the Sunday Express’ sister paper Lesotho Times, Dr Likoti excoriates the Americans for being “out of step” with Southern African Development Community (SADC) resolutions and railroading Lesotho to make decisions that suit “the US Embassy’s fancy”.
Dr Likoti also accused the US of breaching diplomatic protocol, saying they leaked on social media a letter addressed to the premier.
The letter from the Americans stated that Lesotho had failed to meet governance benchmarks to benefit from African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Lesotho has since been deemed eligible for AGOA in 2017, although the Americans have spelt out concerns which need to be addressed in the first quarter of 2017.
In an interview with the Sunday Express, this past week, Dr Likoti said he wrote the statement titled “A 50 year relations acheter viagra with the United States of America: Some reflections”, in his “personal capacity” and not as a government official.
“I wrote the article in my personal capacity. It is not motivated by the government. It was my personal analysis of the goings on in this country,” he said.
Dr Likoti said he remained “perturbed” by the US Embassy in Lesotho’s stance with regards to SADC’s intervention in Lesotho.
“The US Embassy in Maseru, purports to support SADC decisions or rather the Phumaphi Commission recommendations. If this was the case, why does this embassy make pronouncements at variance with the SADC decisions on these recommendations?” he said.
“SADC has actually made decisions from what the Phumaphi recommendations said. I expected them to assist SADC in ensuring that its decisions are implemented.”
Dr Likoti said the Americans should also acknowledge the progress made by the government in implementing reforms.
“Lesotho has come up with a reforms roadmap and abided by the SADC decisions. I expected the Americans to acknowledge these strides and not to hear them insisting on issues that SADC has not considered like the amnesty for soldiers facing mutiny charges and the issue of firing the army general (Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli).”