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SADC committee calls for DC dialogue


Frederic Mwita Werema
Frederic Mwita Werema

Billy Ntaote

THE SADC Oversight Committee, mandated with being an early warning mechanism for Lesotho’s instability, has called on the warring factions in the Democratic Congress (DC) to employ dialogue in addressing their differences.

Led by retired Tanzanian judge, Justice Frederic Mwita Werema, the Oversight Committee left the country yesterday after three days of consultative meetings with various stakeholders on the political and security developments in Lesotho.

Other members of the committee include Justice Werema’s deputy, Mamo Vusie Masango from Swaziland, Lieutenant-General Samuel Albert Mdambo (Tanzania), Patrick Balopi (Botswana), Major-General Jefferson Tlhokwane (Botswana), Brigadier Mnisi (South Africa), Colonel Omar Nala (Swaziland), Jose Filomemo da Fonsenca (Angola), and Ambassador Amba Sheyo (Tanzania).

The Oversight Committee was established by an Extraordinary Summit of the Double Troika held on 3 July 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa to monitor the implementation of SADC decisions regarding the political and security situation.

The committee was also tasked with providing assistance in the implementation of constitutional, security and public sector reforms in Lesotho.

Justice Werema said in the event of instability, the committee would report to the SADC Double Troika in collaboration with the SADC facilitator to Lesotho, South African Vice-President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“This committee was mandated to operate for a total of 42 days up to the next ordinary meeting of the ministerial meeting of the organ on politics defence and security cooperation,” he said.

“And the oversight committee is led by me, a retired judge from the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania is currently the chair of the organ. That is the reason why I am the chair of this committee. I am deputised by the commissioner Mamoma Vusi Masango from the Kingdom of Swaziland.”

He said they would return to Lesotho to continue gauging the political pulse of the country.

“This is the first deployment of members of the Oversight Committee. We started back on 17 November in South Africa where we met Mr Ramaphosa.

“For this first deployment, our term ends on 25 November. We shall come back again in future, maybe in January or in February.”

Justice Werema said the committee been briefed on the infighting in the DC that has shaken the core of the seven-party governing coalition.

A faction of the DC led by its deputy leader, Monyane Moleleki, has pulled out of government and inked a coalition pact with the opposition bloc to establish a new regime. A fight for the ownership of the party has ensued between Mr Moleleki’s faction and a grouping aligned with DC leader, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

“We cannot divulge the details of the information we have been given about the DC issues, but we can only urge all stakeholders to engage one another because this country’s issues can only be resolved by Basotho,” said Justice Werema.

“Just like with the reforms process that we are tasked with assisting the government of Lesotho in their implementation, we also believe that political parties should be democratic institutions and not just the country’s institutions that need to be reformed.”

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