WINDHOEK – Reports have surfaced of a military coup in the Kingdom of Lesotho, nearly two months after the country’s political leaders at a gathering in front of President Hifikepunye Pohamba in Windhoek pledged to maintain a harmonious working relationship in their country. Pohamba was then the chairperson of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has since fled to South Africa in fear of his life. Although the country’s military denied staging a coup, Thabane alleges that the military seized his residence as well as the police headquarters in the capital, Maseru.
“I have been removed from control not by the people but by the armed forces, and that is illegal. I came into South Africa this morning and will return as soon as my life is not in danger,” Thabane told the BBC over the weekend.
Namibian Minister of Foreign Affairs Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah on Saturday refused to comment when approached by New Era, only stating: “Namibia is not the chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation anymore.” The fragile tripartite political union broke down when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane dissolved the country’s parliament after discovering that lawmakers were planning to pass a vote of no confidence in his leadership.
If it is confirmed that the military has indeed staged a coup, Lesotho will be axed from the African Union as well as SADC. Both bodies do not condone unconstitutional change of government and have a standing policy that any member state which unconstitutionally changes its government will be axed.
The leaders of the coalition government in Lesotho even went as far as coming to Namibia to seek advice from President Pohamba in his capacity as the chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, on how to peacefully co-exist in the tripartite political matrimony. The group signed a declaration pledging to maintain a harmonious working relationship.
The pledge was made by the Basotho delegation that visited Namibia in July, which included Lesotho Prime Minister Dr Thomas Thabane, who is the leader of the All Basotho Convention, the Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader, and the Minister of Home Affairs Joang Molapo who represented the leader of the Basotho National Party.
Lesotho was due to take over the chairmanship of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation during the SADC summit held in Zimbabwe but SADC leaders decided to hand the chairmanship to South Africa because of the political instability in Lesotho.
New Era Reporter
2014-09-01 08:40:51 5 years ago