SADC Double Troika has turned from harsh to soft regarding its earlier stance in which it urged Lesotho government to implement the recommendations of the SADC Commission of Inquiry into the death of former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander Brigadier Maaparankoe Mohao. Addressing members of the media after a five-hour meeting, SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said the regional Double Troika Summit has recommended that an oversight committee be appointed to facilitate the review of the Lesotho constitutional and security sectors. The committee, according to Dr Tax, will be chaired by Mozambique which is the current chair of the Double Troika and the report on the progress will be presented to the SADC Summit in Swaziland in August this year.
On the self-imposed exile by opposition leaders who fear for their lives in the troubled mountainous kingdom, Tax revealed that the troika has recommended that they should be back in Lesotho by the end of August this year. Opposition leaders who are in exile include former Prime Minister Tom Thabane and have said they will not go back to Lesotho while Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli is still the commander of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF). “Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosilili has assured SADC leaders that he will provide security for all the political leaders who need it,” said Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. On one of the recommendations by the SADC Commission of Inquiry which was chaired by Botswana Judge Justice Mphaphi Phumaphi that LDF Commander be removed from his position, SADC has made a U-turn, saying that it is solely the discretion of the Lesotho government.
In their proposal to the SADC Double Troika, Lesotho has made it clear that the sacking of General Kamoli will not necessarily bring political stability to the country but would rather worsen it. Venson-Moitoi said SADC has limitations as how a member state can implement the recommendation as they are sovereign states. Asked if they are not worried that Lesotho will not implement the recommendations, she said they are optimistic that they will do that. “As you might be aware they initially refused to implement the recommendations and were threatened with sanctions,” revealed Venson-Moitoi.