Exiled All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Thomas Thabane, yesterday said his “deepest wish” was to return to Lesotho “to be with my fellow countrymen and women” as the former prime minister wished the nation a happy 2016.
“I should start by passing my greetings and New Year wishes to all ABC members and my colleagues in the opposition we have been fighting together with on one front and the Basotho people as a whole and all the diplomatic missions in Lesotho.
“The year 2015 has been a painful one for us in the opposition and general Basotho population due to human rights violations, torture, defeating the ends of justice and threatening the administration of justice, assassinations and threats,” said the former prime minister, who fled the country for South Africa on 11 May this year saying he feared for his life.
Dr Thabane was subsequently followed to South Africa for the same reason, by Basotho National Party (BNP) leader Chief Thesele ‘Maseribane and Reformed Congress of Lesotho leader Keketso Rantšo and the trio, alongside some of their supporters and Lesotho Defence Force members, have been in the neighbouring country since that turbulent month.
He continued: “However, we as the opposition are not discouraged as we are fighting hard and the government side is in a predicament to the extent that they are saying the report by the SADC Commission (into Lesotho’s instability) led by Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi, should not be released although they claim that they are the ones who called for the inquiry.
“Members of the ABC, the BNP and the RCL and the Basotho people at large, should have hope that the SADC report (which was submitted to the regional bloc early this month but has not been made public due to a court case challenging the probe’s legitimacy) will soon be tabled by Justice Phumaphi. What is important is for the government to implement the recommendations once the report is tabled. I commend you my colleagues and Members of Parliament (MPs) for your patience and commitment.
“I also pass my condolences to those affected by atrocities inflicted by perpetrators of these heinous acts. Some of the people are soldiers that are continuously tortured and some have fled the country. I show gratitude to SADC and the international community committed to seeking justice and the rule of law in Lesotho.”
Dr Thabane also said he wished to return to Lesotho after being out of the country for so long.
“It is my deepest wish to return home to Lesotho to be with my fellow countrymen and women. It is my hope that SADC would assist me and my colleagues leading other opposition parties towards ensuring our safe return to Lesotho,” said Dr Thabane.
“I hope God will change the thinking of the leaders of the government so that they can understand that resolutions to challenges can be reached through discussions.”