Month: February 2015
For the first time in history a five private radio stations in Lesotho did a simultaneous live broadcasting of political parties rallies ahead of the 28th February, 2015.
The transmission was carried out by the Media Institute of Southern Africa Lesotho (MISA Lesotho) chapter as part of the its Peace Building and Conflict Reporting Project supported by Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa (OSISA) and the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) Lesotho.
Participating radio stations were KEL Radio, Thaaha Khube FM, Radio Spes Nostra, Dope FM and Motjoli FM.
According to MISA Lesotho Project Coordinator, Ms. Mookho Mphonyo radio stations that did not participate yesterday will join on the 27th , 28th February and 1st March, 2015.
She further disclosed that MISA Lesotho will deploy 30 journalists, three in each district, throughout the ten districts of Lesotho to cover elections on the three mentioned days.
Mphonyo said there will be ‘election reporting hour’ from 7am to 8am, 12noon to 1pm, 5pm to 6pm and 9pm to 10pm during which the deployed journalists will be reporting live on simultaneous broadcasting on all participating radio stations in Lesotho.
Besides radio reports, said Mphonyo, journalists will be sending video clips to MISA Lesotho offices where they will be posted to youtube account for the world to watch Lesotho elections. Along with video clips print media journalists will be writing articles accompanied with photos for posting on MISA Lesotho facebook page.
The objective of the live simultaneous broadcasting on elections in Lesotho is to ensure professionalism and minimise unethical reporting by some polurised radio stations in a view to contribute to peace building in the country.
Meanwhile, on the 17th February, 2015 journalists participating in MISA Lesotho Peace Building and Conflict Reporting Project signed a pledge before the UNDP Country Representative committing themselves to report the electoral process professionally and adhere to ethical standards for maintenance and sustenance of peace before, during and after the elections.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa Lesotho (MISA Lesotho) chapter’ Media Monitoring Group has issued this statement on Sunday 22nd February, 2015.
“The Media Monitoring group has observed various media houses on how they report on election related issues. The Media Monitoring Group looks at
- frequency at which political parties fare in various media houses and whether items on political parties advance their campaign or de-campaigns them;
- the extent to which coverage promotes electoral education,
- whether items on parties perpetuate or ameliorate election conflict and whether they promote peace and;
(iv) the extent to reporting adheres to media ethics
In its observation up to this far the team has observed 8 radio programmes and read 6 news articles. On the basis of the above criteria, the team concludes that;
- Media houses are still fragmented and mainly aligned with various political orientations. Though some radio stations and print media are more clearly aligned to identifiable political sides, others try to provide space for different parties but still lack some ethical considerations;
- The majority of stories are on the party campaigns where they either advance parties or decampaign them. There is little electoral education that reports provided in their programmes and news stories except where such is procured differently as an independent advertorial or special programme ;
- Though some programmes and news items seem to be aimed at providing information and space for listeners to express their views, callers are not guided to remain on track and choose words hence the otherwise well intended programmes become a decampaign;
- In the written material, sources consulted and the purpose of the story are not elaborate enough to communicate the message beyond reasonable doubt on decampaign;
- Some radio stations and news houses publicise and print what the politicians said simply because they want to cover them but they have no control over the content they give;
- The majority of reports lack professionalism as they are not fairly balanced while others clearly promote hate speech.
Besides these shortfalls, the media in Lesotho remains enthusiastically interested in political developments generally and in 2015 elections in particular. This goes a long way in mobilising the public to engage with contesting candidates and political parties thus generating necessary public interest in this important process. The Group urges media houses to take necessary measures to support their reporters to be guided by professionalism in their election reporting. The group takes this opportunity to thank media for the work they are doing and encourages them to continue playing this significant role with caution at this time when the nation waits anxiously to be informed about important development related to elections.
The Media Monitoring Group was established by the MISA Lesotho under the Peace Building and Conflict Reporting Project. It comprises of prominent people on media studies and civil society in Lesotho.”
For more information please call MISA Lesotho on 22320941 or firstname.lastname@example.org
EXTRAORDINARY DOUBLE TROIKA SUMMIT
20 FEBRUARY 2015
PRETORIA, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
- The Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika was held in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa on 20 February 2015.
- Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government or their representatives:
Zimbabwe H.E. Robert Gabriel Mugabe
South Africa H.E. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
Lesotho Right Honourable Dr. Thomas Thabane
Botswana H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, Vice President
Namibia Right Honourable Dr. Hage G. Geingob, Prime Minister and President Elect of the Republic of Namibia
Malawi Hon. Dr. George Chaponda – Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Summit was also attended by the Executive Secretary of SADC, H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax.
- Summit considered the political and security situation in the Region, in particular the latest developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
- Summit received the Report of the Facilitator on the latest political developments in Lesotho and the electoral process.
- Summit welcomed progress made towards the finalization of the Lesotho Dialogue and commended both the Facilitator and key stakeholders including the Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho for the preparations of the electoral process.
- Summit noted that the SADC Election Advisory Council (SEAC) undertook a mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho and confirmed that the political atmosphere and security situation are conducive to hold elections as scheduled.
- Summit also noted that the SADC Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) to Lesotho was launched on 18 February 2015.
- Summit called upon all Stakeholders in Lesotho to abide by the commitments made in the three SADC-brokered agreements, specifically the Maseru Facilitation Declaration, Maseru Security Accord and Electoral Pledge.
- Summit condemned any actions that may compromise the holding of peaceful, free, fair and credible elections.
- Summit approved the extension of the Status of Forces Agreement for the deployment in the Kingdom of Lesotho for another three months until 31st March 2015.
- Summit called upon stakeholders in the Kingdom of Lesotho to pay attention to security sector and constitutional reforms, post 2015 Parliamentary Elections, with the support of SADC.
- Summit approved the mandate of the SOMILES to include co-locating SADC Police with the Lesotho Mounted Police Service for the purpose of assisting in the securing of ballot papers and voting stations during the upcoming elections, with immediate effect until 5 March 2015.
- Summit commended the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republics of Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe for remitting their assessed contributions towards the SADC Deployment in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
- Summit urged Member States to honour their assessed contributions to support the Politics, Defence and Security Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
- Summit requested Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the DRC and the United Republic of Tanzania to deploy more Police to support the Kingdom of Lesotho Mounted Police with immediate effect until 05 March 2015;
- Summit reiterated its support to the efforts of H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, for his exemplary work towards restoring political stability, peace and security in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho for excellent facilitation towards returning the political stability in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
- Summit urged the Double Troika to remain seized with the developments in Lesotho.
- Summit commended the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa for hosting the Double Troika Summit.
Pretoria, South Africa
20 February 2015
The SADC Troika of Heads of State and Government will meet later this week to give impetus to efforts to create peace and stability in Lesotho , announced Facilitator, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Deputy President Ramaphosa was speaking at the conclusion of his working visit to Maseru on Saturday 14 February 2015 where he met with various role players including His Majesty King Letsie III and Prime Minister Dr. Tom Thabane.
The Troika meeting will be preceded by the deployment of the SADC Electoral Observer Mission on Tuesday 18 February 2015 in Maseru as part of preparations for the forthcoming elections scheduled for 28 February 2015.
Deputy President Ramaphosa had visited the Kingdom following discussions held in Pretoria on Monday 9 February hosted by President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security, with a delegation of the Lesotho government’s coalition partners led by Prime Minister Dr. Tom Thabane.
In this regard, President Jacob Zuma had requested the Facilitator to return to the country as soon as possible to address the security challenges, reported violation of the Maseru Facilitation and Security Accords including the request for SADC to provide material support for the successful holding of elections as requested by the Lesotho delegation.
During his visit to Lesotho, the Facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa had expressed satisfaction with the levels of preparations for the forthcoming elections as organised by Lesotho’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). This view was also expressed by the SADC Electoral Advisory Council which had recently visited the country to assess the readiness for the holding of elections.
As part of efforts to create a climate conducive for the holding of elections, the Facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa held meetings with officers of Lesotho’s Defence Force and Lesotho’s Mounted Police Service, following which he announced an agreement that members of of the Lesotho’s Defence Force will remain in barracks during the elections and only assist upon request from Lesotho’s IEC Deputy President Ramaphosa who had also met with leaders of the Christian Council of Lesotho, announced the Council’s intention to host a National Day of Prayer service to be held in Maseru on 21 February 2015.
Deputy President Ramaphosa further indicated that issues around security challenges and the request for SADC to provide material support for the brought forward elections will continue to receive the attention of the SADC Facilitation Mission.
This is a press statement from the Office of the Deputy Presidents issued this morning.
“…in its quest to fulfil its mandated duties to protect the Basotho nation and property, the LDF [Lesotho Defence Force] will deploy in various places countrywide starting from Friday 13 February, 2015.” So read the press statement issued by the LDF Public Affairs Office (PAO) in today.
A ten lines statement announce that during the deployment, amongst other duties, the LDF will conduct patrols and vehicle checkpoints at various places and different times.
“As usual, the LDF Command intends to conduct these duties in order to safeguard the people, maintain peace and stability in the country.” Read the statement on the LDF letter head with the PAO stamped and also bearing the following telephone numbers 22313986 / 63632977.
Pretoria – South African President and Chairperson of the SADC Troika, Jacob Zuma, today, Monday 9 February 2015 hosted a meeting of the Coalition Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho led by Prime Minister Tom Thabane at OR Tambo Building in Pretoria.
The meeting was attended by SADC Facilitator Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Lesotho’s coalition partners Deputy Prime Minister Mothejoa Metsing and Minister Thesele Maseribane as well as South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister of State Security David Mahlobo.
The meeting received a briefing by Lesotho coalition government about their current concerns regarding (i) the security situation and (ii) violations of provisions of the Maseru Facilitation Accord as well as the Maseru Security Accord. The coalition government also made requests for SADC to provide more support for the holding of elections in Lesotho.
In this regard, President Zuma emphasised the need for the Facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa to return to Lesotho as soon as possible to address issues raised by the delegation of the Lesotho government.
President Zuma emphasised the need for all parties to act in a manner that help create a climate conducive for the holding of elections. In this context the coalition partners committed themselves to continue to act within the letter and spirit of decisions of the SADC Troika Heads and State and Government as part of efforts to help create peace and stability in Lesotho.
The meeting also expressed its confidence in the ongoing facilitation work of the SADC Observer Mission to Lesotho under the leadership of Deputy President Ramaphosa. The meeting expressed its confidence that the climate for the holding of elections on 28 February remain on course.
For more info contact Mac Maharaj on 079 879 3203 or Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.
Issued by: The Presidency