t the top of
the agenda on
Kingdom Lesotho’s bid to stabilise the country’s
is the National
Legal Reforms
rollout. The initiative was initially recommended by a Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) commission of inquiry into circumstances that
led to the killing of former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander Lt General Maaparankoe Mahao in 2015.
The project’s results thus far included a
road map and national consultation on
the National Reforms Commission Bill,
which was set to guide the reforms process in the country that was regarded
as instable and a threat to the region’s
peace and economic development.
The reforms project was being implemented under the watchful eye of the
SADC Military Preventive Mission in
the kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL). It
was hoped that the project would not be
threatened by elements within the LDF
who had committed crimes against humanity during the tenure of office of the
two coalition governments between the
years 2012 to 2017. To date it is evident
that the possibility of military rebellion
was averted. Indicators in this regard
include the arrest of the former LDF
commander Lt. General Tlali Kennedy
Kamoli together with some soldiers who
were under his command, while on the
other hand certain army personnel he
had locked up for the alleged mutiny
against him were released by the new
coalition government.


So This is Democracy? 2017

While the reforms project was being
rolled out, some leaders of the opposition remained in exile in neighbouring
South Africa. These leaders, Mothejoa
Metsing of the Lesotho Congress for
Democracy (LCD) together with his Secretary General Ts’eliso Mokhosi, and
Mathibeli Mokhothu, a Parliamentary
head of the Democratic Congress (DC)
were on record for insisting that they
would not return home.
In some quarters, the absence of these
leaders was regarded as a blow to the
reforms project as it would then fail to
pass the test of inclusivity. In response
to this, the government, backed by civil
society organisations (CSOs) was negotiating the safe return of these exiled political leaders.
MISA Lesotho regards the initiative as an
opportunity to realise long-awaited media reforms but it came as a disappointment that the road map excluded media. In response MISA Lesotho worked
to organise the media sector in order to
actively lobby and advocate for the inclusion of media reforms in the national
reforms project as recommended by
The media has had to operate in this
politically unstable environment and
has not fared well. Journalists have been
physically attacked, namely the editor of
Lesotho Times, Lloyd Mutungamiri, was
shot and injured while his colleague,
Keiso Mohloboli, is in exile in South
Africa. Blogger and University lecturer
Mafa Sejanamane was also shot at, but
was not injured.

Freedom of expression in the kingdom
of Lesotho has been severely hampered
by tumultuous events over the last few

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