Category Archives: Opinion

A beacon of hope amid Lesotho’s eternal turmoil

A beacon of hope amid Lesotho’s eternal turmoil

Karabelo Maloi, 23, has lived through five coups, two parliamentary dissolutions and multiple assassination attempts on the life of successive heads of state. This mirrors the ignominy of Lesotho as one of the most volatile countries in the continent. “We are a country at a crossroads. I cannot remember a time when my daily life in Lesotho was not lived ...

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Role of army in democracy under spotlight

Role of army in democracy under spotlight

MASERU – The role and place of the military in democratic societies has baffled political scholars and philosophers through the ages and continues to dominate discourse, especially in ailing democracies like Lesotho. This concern rises to the fore in countries where military officers have previously taken off their military fatigues to grab executive power, and where the civilian body politic ...

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SADC must do more on Lesotho

SADC must do more on Lesotho

Next week, on October 4, Basotho will celebrate more than half a century of having shaken off the shackles of colonial rule, having been granted independence by Britain in 1966. This is a national day which must be marked by pomp and ceremony throughout the country. It is a day marked with flag-raising ceremonies, speeches, colourful parades and processions, performances, ...

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Lesotho Opposition: Political violence unleashes ‘reign of terror’

Lesotho Opposition: Political violence unleashes ‘reign of terror’

The June 2017 elections were supposed to soothe the troubled politics of Lesotho. It was the third poll in five years, after two successive coalitions collapsed amid vicious infighting and meddling from the army. The third time was supposed to be the charm, Prime Minister Tom Thabane promised to swiftly enact reforms to loosen the military’s stranglehold on politics. But ...

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Instability lingers in Lesotho

Instability lingers in Lesotho

For workers leaving a textile factory during a recent lunchtime in Lesotho, assassinations and political intrigue are a kind of background noise in the small southern African kingdom. The shooting of the country’s military commander, Lieutenant General Khoantle Motsomotso (on 5 September), by two rival officers who were killed in the gunfight heightened regional concerns about Lesotho, whose mostly peaceful ...

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Motšomotšo murder: Was it mutiny or coup?

Motšomotšo murder: Was it mutiny or coup?

The assassination of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander Khoantle Motšomotšo has left mixed feelings among the country’s analysts on whether it was an ordinary assassination, a mutiny or even a failed coup. Lieutenant General Motšomotšo was allegedly shot by Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi last Tuesday. The two are alleged to have later been killed by Motšomotšo’s bodyguards. The deaths ...

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Lesotho: Tilting towards gun culture

Lesotho: Tilting towards gun culture

The assassination of army boss Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo by his subordinates last Tuesday, has confirmed the existence of factions and instability within the military, taking Lesotho closer to a failed state, retired Major-General Samuel Makoro has observed. A member of the army since 1981, Lieutenant General Motšomotšo was assassinated in his Ratjomose Barracks office by his subordinates, Brigadier Bulane ...

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Overpopulation is not Lesotho’s biggest problem

Overpopulation is not Lesotho’s biggest problem

The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho recently (3 June) held its third general election in the last five years. Despite the joy in the capital, Maseru, at the election of Tom Thabane as Prime Minister, the election is not likely to solve any of the country’s deeper political, economic, or social problems. The problems that Thabane has inherited arise from a ...

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Military, politics make a dangerous mix

Military, politics make a dangerous mix

Thabane has vowed to implement the SADC’s recommendations on prosecutions and on major army reforms. The new government admits the army has held the levers of power in Lesotho.   When rival officers gunned down Lesotho’s army chief and were then killed by his bodyguards, hopes that the Mountain Kingdom had escaped its cycle of violence also perished. The shoot-out ...

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Singapore High Court exempts Lesotho from arbitral award

Singapore High Court exempts Lesotho from arbitral award

The High Court of Singapore has set aside an arbitral award issued to Swissbourgh Diamond Mines and South African investors who claim their mining leases had been expropriated by the Kingdom of Lesotho. The claimants state that their mining leases were unlawfully expropriated in breach of Lesotho’s obligations under the SADC treaty. The case, according to international law firm, Hogan ...

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