Never Underestimate The Power Of Negotiation, Says Ramaphosa At Conclusion Of Multi-Party Forum In Lesotho

Riyaz Patel

“Lesotho is on a positive trajectory to achieve peace and stability,” declared the SADC’s official facilitator Cyril Ramaphosa Wednesday at the closing of a multi-stakeholder dialogue for constitutional reforms in the Mountain Kingdom.

President Ramaphosa said the progress made in achieving stability through reforms in Lesotho was testimony to the “power of negotiation.”

Ramaphosa called on leaders in Lesotho to be tolerant in order to propel the country forward.

“In pursuit of the common good and a common goal, political differences have had to be put aside, sacrifices and compromises have had to be made, and patience and tolerance has had to be observed.”

The Multistakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II marks the beginning of a new phase of the operationalization of reforms in Lesotho under the guidance of the newly established National Reforms Authority.

The reforms are expected to clarify, among others, who between the king, the prime minister and Parliament should have the power to appoint and fire army commanders which a source of major instability and upheaval in Lesotho.

President Cyril Ramaphosa with Prime Minister Tom Thabane at the Qhobosheaneng Government Complex in Maseru in July 2019.

In July, Ramaphosa secured a major breakthrough in Lesotho when he oversaw political party representatives sign an agreement to establish a statutory National Legislative Reform Authority to coordinate the national reforms process in the Kingdom.

The reform authority will guide the country in effecting constitutional governance, security and media reforms.

Ramaphosa welcomed the signing as an historic milestone that firmly set Lesotho on the road to reform.

Ramaphosa said Wednesday that with the conclusion of the multi-stakeholder dialogue and the establishment of a national reforms authority, Lesotho was now closer to coming off the Southern African Development Community agenda as a ‘problem.’

Ramaphosa said the people of Lesotho have been able to develop a homegrown solution to the instability that has affected the tiny kingdom.

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