President in SA for Lesotho talks

President in SA for Lesotho talks President Mugabe
President Mugabe

President Mugabe

From Munyaradzi Huni  in South Africa
President Mugabe arrived here yesterday for the Sadc Troika Summit on Lesotho to be held in Pretoria today.
President Mugabe, who is Sadc chairman, was accompanied by the Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Cde Didymus Mutasa and other senior Government officials.

President Mugabe is attending the Troika meeting in his capacity as Sadc chair. Other members of the Troika are South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho.

The summit will consider the latest political developments in the Sadc region, specifically the political and security situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho following a coup last month and the DRC. Lesotho will recuse itself during deliberation on the mountainous kingdom, but will rejoin others during discussions on DRC.

Coalition parties in the mountain kingdom have failed to reach consensus on the opening of parliament following its suspension on June 19, 2014 under threats of a coup that saw Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fleeing to South Africa.

The defence forces also seized police headquarters and Mabote police station in Maseru. Mr Thabane had angered his coalition partners in government when he suspended parliament in June fearing a vote of no confidence.

After the upheavals in Lesotho, Sadc came up with the Windhoek Declaration, which was presented at the grouping’s summit which was held in Victoria Falls to bring about a political solution to the crisis.

Since its independence in 1966, Lesotho has faced a number of military coups.

In 1998, at least 58 locals and eight South African soldiers died after a coup in Lesotho. PM Thabane has clashed with his deputy Motehetjoa Metsing over the running of affairs in that country.

South African President Jacob Zuma, who chairs the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, visited Maseru last week to finalise consultations among the parties in the fragile coalition.

The All Basotho Convention and Basotho National Party have accused Mr Zuma of not taking the Basotho security crisis seriously and called on the Sadc chair, President Mugabe to intervene.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Mumbengegwi, who chairs the Sadc Council of Ministers said mistrust had been simmering in the in the coalition government of the mountain kingdom for a long time.

This came to a head when leader of the military disarmed the police, leading to PM Thabane fleeing to South Africa.

On DRC, the summit is expected to review progress in relation to the voluntary disarmament and surrender of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.


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