THE chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Law and Public Safety, Lekhetho Mosito, has accused the opposition of working against the reforms agenda, insisting the process would go ahead with or without the opposition.
In an interview with Lesotho Times on Tuesday, Mr Mosito said the nature of demands by the opposition were a clear indication of people who were not willing to see the government succeeding where they failed when they were in government before the 3 June 2017 snap elections.
According to Mr Mosito, the government has noticed a disturbing trend where the opposition makes new demands whenever the government makes progress in satisfying their previous demands.
“They are always shifting the goal posts when they see that we are meeting their initial demands, unfortunately for them, this is not going to discourage us from working to have the reforms in place,” Mr Mosito said.
The Spokesperson for the Democratic Congress (DC), Serialong Qoo this week confirmed that the opposition was all out to frustrate the reforms’ process, threatening to unleash more unspecified destructive strategies.
He could not hide the opposition’s dislike of the SADC troops, an unwelcoming position some sections within the government criticized saying this was fast developing into a dangerous situation that may require decisive non-violent actions to manage the conflict since resolving it had proved impossible.
“The SADC troops should go as part of our pre-conditions towards the reforms process. We want the reforms as badly as they want them, but they should get their act together. We have not even started frustrating the process, more is yet to come if they don’t rectify their wrongs and do as we all pledged. As a collective decision we have agreed not to attend any parliamentary committee meeting,” said Mr Qoo.
He also demanded the release of all people arrested for various crimes, including the former Lesotho Defence Force Commander, Tlali Kamoli.
“We want people who have been detained due to some political influences to be released from prison and they include the former commander of the LDF, Tlali Kamoli,” said Qoo.
However, Mr Mosito said the tactics employed by the opposition were aimed at derailing a noble process that seeks to strengthen pillars of good governance, rule of law and ensure political and security stability.
“The way they are behaving, all people who have the best interest of Lesotho at heart can tell that they are buying time because some of their conditions are out of this world.”
He cited justice as an example, saying there should be a separation of issues ranging from political and security to justice and personal.
“We can’t defeat the ends of justice by saying that people should not be taken to task for breaking the laws of Lesotho simply because of the portfolio they hold. No-one is above the law. If there are crimes that some of the exiled leaders have to answer to, they must man-up and come back to explain themselves. We will give them whatever else they are requesting but we cannot defeat the ends of justice,” Mr Mosito said.
He also also accused the opposition of sabotaging the business of parliamentary committees, as some of the members of the Law and Public Safety have not been attending scheduled meetings.
“We have about 21 members in the Law and Public Safety Committee, eight of which comprise the opposition. They have not been attending meetings.
“We need to form a quorum of eight people for committees to run smoothly. However, the non-attendance by most committee members disadvantages them because we can still form a quorum even in their absence,” Mr Mosito said.
He said it was clear from the opposition’s negative attitude that the political line they decided to tow was meant to sabotage parliamentary business.
“What this means is that even those who would like to attend can’t lest they would be accused of taking sides with the rivals. However, what is important is that as the government, we have done what needs to be and therefore we are going to operate with or without them,” Mosito said.
Contacted for comment, the spokesperson for the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Teboho Sekata, said from the start of the whole process, the government has erred.
“We have collectively decided that we shall not attend any of these meetings, and we stand by our decision. We want the SADC troops to go because we don’t know what their mission is here in Lesotho. All we see them doing is courting our sisters, drinking alcohol and playing soccer. We also want the exiled leaders to come back and participate in the reforms,” said Mr Sekata.
On the other hand, leader of Movement for Economic Change, Selibe Mochoboroane said, “Ntate Mosito should advise his leaders to call a national dialogue, not for the government to work on the reforms and the Bill behind closed doors. The government doesn’t own the reforms nor the opposition, they belong to the people,”Mr Mochoboroane said.