Lesotho Commended for Signing Reforms Agreement

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Political parties in Lesotho have signed an agreement to establish a statutory National Legislative Reform Authority that will coordinate the national reforms process in the Kingdom.

The agreement signed on Thursday stipulates that the reform authority will be constituted in terms of an act of parliament and that the authority will guide the country in effecting governance, security and media reforms.

The signing took place on the day of a working visit to the Kingdom by President Ramaphosa in his capacity as SADC Facilitator on the national reform process in Lesotho.

President Cyril Ramaphosa commended the political parties on signing the agreement citing it as a historic milestone that firmly set Lesotho on the road to reform.

"The Basotho people can celebrate the convergence of consensus that has led to this historic agreement and has built a strong foundation for reforms to go ahead," President Ramaphosa said at the conclusion of his visit.

During the working visit, the Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane assured President Ramaphosa of the Lesotho coalition government's commitment to implementing constitutional, security and other reforms facilitated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

President Ramaphosa visited the mountain kingdom for, among other objectives, discussions with Prime Minister Thabane and civil society leadership on the SADC process to secure political stability and development in Lesotho through a broad range of reforms.

At the outset of his visit, President Ramaphosa was afforded an audience with King Letsie III at the royal guest palace in the capital, Maseru.

The President consulted with formations such as political parties, the Christian Council of Lesotho, the Lesotho Council of NGOs and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the College of Chiefs, as well as international partners and the National Dialogue Planning Committee.

The updates on Lesotho's national reforms process provided by Prime Minister Thabane and civil society will enable President Ramaphosa to report on these matters to the SADC Heads of State and Government in August 2019 in Tanzania.

President Ramaphosa was appointed the SADC facilitator to Lesotho in September 2014 when he held the position of Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.

After assuming the position of President in 2018, President Ramaphosa appointed former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to lead the SADC Facilitation Team on Lesotho's national reforms process.

President Ramaphosa said the agreement among parties represented in Lesotho's parliament would enable South Africa to report that, through the facilitation undertaken by Justice Moseneke, the people of Lesotho have been able to develop a homegrown solution to the instability that has affected the Kingdom.

As part of the August Summit agenda, the region's leaders will assess progress in constitutional and security reforms in Lesotho.

The President was accompanied by State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini, Defence and Military Veterans Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla and State Security Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa.

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