Month: November 2016
Mass action to save AGOA begins in Lesotho – Government fails to; Protect Rule of law, Fight corruption, Reduce poverty and Protect human rights
Alliance of Non-State-Actors and Political Party Youth Leagues will embark into a mass action campaign aiming to put pressure on Lesotho government to work towards meeting term as conditions to qualify for African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) which provided about 40 000 jobs in the country.
Mass action to save AGOA begins in Lesotho – Government fails to; Protect Rule of law, Fight corruption, Reduce poverty and Protect human rightsTriggering the mass action are some of the points on a letter written to the Minister of Trade and Industry Joshua Setipa by Mr. Micheal Froman who is the Executive president in the Office of the United States of America (USA) Trade Representative.
The Alliance in a statement issued this morning at a press conference in Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho, made the following quote;
“That during the [AGOA] eligibility review… the United States Government identified serious concerns about the Government of Lesotho’s adherence to certain AGOA criteria…”
“… the United States review committee noted that there have been a number of cases of extrajudicial killings and violence reportedly linked to Lesotho’s military forces for which there have been no apparent prosecutions, raising questions about Lesotho’s adherence to AGOA criteria relating to respect for human rights and rule of law. There also appears to be credible reports of torture by Lesotho’s military forces for which no one has apparently been held accountable, raising further such questions”.
According to the Alliance the US government has on numerous occasions met with the government of Lesotho during 2016 to discuss AGOA’s prospects and the people of Lesotho have not been privy to the discussion. In this regard, therefore, Alliance invites the people of Lesotho to join a protest march on the 27th November, 2016 , to petition the country’s Prime Minister demanding a progress report on meeting the eligibility criteria.
A progress report demanded despite the Trade Minister social media reports that, “the people of Lesotho interest were protected”.
Setipa reports on AGOA were inaccurate and the Alliance finds the PM as the right authority to provide an accurate report.
The battlefield is the Democratic Congress (DC), a political party whose leader is the Prime Minister (PM) of a seven-political-party coalition government of Lesotho. Wrestling is the PM, Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili and DC’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The main weapon used among the battling factions is the constitution of the party.
It started with a vote of confidence march to Mosisili, where his Deputy in the DC’s NEC, Monyane Moleleki didn’t attend, instead holding a simultaneous rally at his constituency, Machache condemning Mosisili led government of corruption.
A week ago, DC NEC announced withdrawal from the coalition government arguing, among others, that the government does not operate in line with their political party’s values. In response Mosisili called a special conference set for 2nd to 4th December, 2016, to discipline the NEC.
This week DC’s NEC invited Mosisili to an urgent meeting on 17th November, 2016, ordering him to make appearance for disciplinary hearing for not respecting the NEC’s decision to withdraw from the coalition government and for calling a special without following a due procedure.
The NEC yesterday’s meeting suspended the PM and today he issued a statement accusing ten (10) members of the NEC including his Deputy Moleleki, and Secretary Lincoln General Ralechate ‘Mokose of being unruly and rising against him.
At a press conference following that of some DC’s members of parliament where they denounced the NEC’s decision and dismissed allegations that some of them have joint the ten ‘unruly’ NEC members, Mosisili issued a statement dismissing his suspension from the party as, according to the constitution of DC, he is ‘Extricable from the committee’.
Mosisili argues that the NEC has no powers to suspend him and according to DC’s constitution, the party leader is not responsible to the NEC, arguing that the only body with supreme powers over the leader in their political party is the national conference .
“Section 5.3.1 (h) of the Constitution gives the leader powers to suspend any member of NEC from the committee”, he said adding that there is no section in the party’s constitution that gives similar powers to the committee and instead it is only the national conference that has such powers through a vote of confidence to the leader.
Mosisili has also dismissed withdrawal of DC from the coalition government, and according to him the NEC does not have powers to do so as the coalition agreement was signed by political party leaders and not their NECs’.
He announced his intention to recommend some new ministers to replace those who have resigned from the government.
In his attempt to address on-going insubordination within DC, Mosisili announced that he has issued some letters to the ten NEC members asking them to show cause why he cannot suspend them from the party.
He has reaffirmed the holding of a special conference of the party in accordance with its constitution to seek intervention and discipline the ten NEC members.