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SADC Panel of Elders undertakes working visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho

SADC – The Panel of Elders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) led by its Chairperson, former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete undertook a four–day mission from 7th February, 2023 to the Kingdom of Lesotho to obtain details of the Government’s roadmap and plan for the implementation of the reforms process.

The working visit which began on 7 February 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa follows the decision by the SADC Summit of Heads of state and Government in August, 2022 to establish an Oversight Committee made up of the SADC Panel of Elders (PoE) and the Mediation Reference Group (MRG) to oversee the implementation of reforms in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

During the working visit the Chairperson of the SADC PoE was accompanied by H.E. Mr. Paramasivum Pillay B. Vyapoory, former Vice–President of the Republic of Mauritius and Deputy Chairperson of the PoE.

In line with the SADC Summit decision, the mission sought to obtain a better understanding of the political and security situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho with the view to ensure a smooth implementation of the reforms process.

Prior to its deployment to Lesotho, the Chairperson held consultations in South Africa with the leadership of the former SADC facilitation team to the Kingdom of Lesotho to obtain a clearer understanding of the dynamics on the ground in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

While in Lesotho, the mission paid a courtesy call on His Majesty King Motlotlehi Letsie III and held consultations with H.E. Prime Minister Right Honourable Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane and Hon Lejone Mpotjoane, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations. In his engagement with the leadership of the Kingdom of Lesotho, H.E. Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete underlined SADC’s continuing commitment to support the Government and the people of Lesotho to consolidating peace and stability.

During the consultations, the Government of Lesotho and other stakeholders committed to put in place the necessary legal and constitutional measures for the implementation of the comprehensive reforms process.

The mission also met with various stakeholders, among others the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Nthomeng Majara; Vice President of the Senate, Honourable Mamonaheng Mokitimi; Rt Honourable Speaker of National Assembly, Mr. Tlohang Sekhamane; Attorney General, Mr. Rapelang Motsieloa; Former leadership of the National Reforms Authority (NRA), Mr. Pelele Letsoela; Opposition parties in parliament; political parties outside parliament; leaders of Civil Society Organisations and the Development Partners (United States Ambassador, South African High Commissioner, European Union Ambassador, British High Commissioner and the representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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