rium, which was purported to have been
issued to allow for a review of broadcasting law, had been viewed by MISA
Lesotho as a ploy by the government to
hinder the project. It was expected that
the suspension of the moratorium would
enable an additional three communities
of Quthing, Semonkong and Mokhotlong radio stations to go on air.
Another progressive development was
the announcement by the government of
the adoption of an interim Broadcasting
Code of 2017, pending cabinet sanction
of the code to repeal the Broadcasting
Rules of 2004. The announcement was
made in August 2017 and MISA Lesotho saw this as a bid to ensure legislation was in step with global standards.
The new policy is also expected to protect consumers while at the same time
guarding the interests of the broadcasting sector in Lesotho.

MISA Lesotho’s advocacy campaign on
the passing of the Access and Receipt
of Information Bill of 2000, saw some
hope in the National Legal Reforms project, as SADC had categorically called
for media and information reforms. The
reforms project began with drawing up
a bill to establish the National Reforms
While the reforms are an opportunity to
accelerate positive results after MISA Lesotho’s long advocacy campaign, the big
challenge would be the degree of cooperation and unity among media houses
and individual journalists in Lesotho.
Characterised by political polarisation,
the media in Lesotho could lose out on
opportunities presented by the reforms
project if they are unable to find common ground.

The Editors Forum established in 2014
was dysfunctional and similarly the
Journalists Union of Lesotho. Both organisations lack clearly defined programmes and were not operating in
accordance with the guiding principles
acknowledged by CSOs allowing for
positive changes in the sector they were
established to protect and advance as
development agents.

On a positive note,
the government of
Lesotho announced
in December 2017
that it had rescinded
its moratorium on
issuance of broadcast
licenses that was put
in place two years
Challenges of poor governance in MISA
Lesotho were also evident since March
2017 when it elected a board that
lacked leadership and corporate governance skills. The organisation’s National
Governing Council (NGC) was rocked
by scandals ranging from:
• The Deputy Chairperson and Deputy Secretary General of the NGC
leading a group of 12 out of 42
participants to boycott a workshop
held by MISA due to their discontent

So This is Democracy? 2017


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