Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho has hailed President Mugabe’s wise guidance and astute leadership that brought normalcy to his country when it was facing political instability that spanned over three decades.
King Letsie III was speaking during a banquet hosted in his honour by President Mugabe at State House last night.
He is here on a four-day State visit.
King Letsie III said he had come to Zimbabwe to thank President Mugabe for the role he played for Lesotho to enjoy peace and tranquillity.
“I came here to Zimbabwe to deliver just one message to you Your Excellency and the people of Zimbabwe and that message I deliver it on behalf of Basuthu and on behalf of my family, is one of gratitude,” said King Letsie III.
He said he had been facing many political challenges in the last four decades and he first assumed office in 1990 under very abnormal and unpleasant circumstances.
He said the situation, which prevailed up to mid-90s, created a lot of tension and instability in the mountainous country and even threatened to bring permanent instability to the institutions of the Monarchy.
“Your guidance and leadership in bringing back normalcy, stability and legitimacy to the monarchy and other institutions will never be forgotten by our people,” said King Letsie III.
“Even since such time as Lesotho and Basuthu, we have struggled to solidify and strengthen our democracy. You and other leaders in the region have continued to provide guidance and support either directly or through our regional body, Sadc.
“For all this as Basuthu, we can only say thank you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We must also thank the people of Zimbabwe who have enabled you to play a pivotal role in our country’s political development.”
Earlier on at the banquet, President Mugabe said Zimbabwe remained committed to working with Lesotho and other Sadc member States in promoting peace and security in the region.
“We are also committed to working towards enhancing regional integration, continental unity, as well as in advancing our common causes on the international platform,” said President Mugabe.
“In the world wrecked by poverty, hunger and disease, and infected by wars, some of which are instigated by the greed of the powerful, Africa’s voice of conscience must be heard.”
President Mugabe said he was aware that in less than a month Lesotho would be holding elections to choose parliamentarians and expressed confidence that the polls would be conduct within the precincts of peace and harmony.
“We are confident that, as they have done in the past, they will exercise their democratic right in a peaceful manner,” he said. “In this, Zimbabwe, together with the rest of Sadc family, will support and cheer you.”
Zimbabwe and Lesotho share common views on several other international, continental and regional issues and the two countries’ relations date back from the days of their struggle for independence.