Zuma congratulates Lesotho's new prime minister

Pakalitha Mosisili. Picture Credit: www.sfgate.com
Pakalitha Mosisili. Picture Credit: www.sfgate.com

President Jacob Zuma congratulated Pakalitha Mosisili on being inaugurated as the new prime minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho on Tuesday.

"Honourable Prime Minister Mosisili, we take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as Prime Minister of Lesotho," Zuma said in a speech prepared for the occasion of Mosisili's inauguration in Maseru, Lesotho.

"We reaffirm our commitment as a region to work with you as you discharge your responsibility as prime minister of the kingdom."

Zuma's speech was in his capacity as president of South Africa, as well as chairman of the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) organ on politics, defence and security co-operation.

"Honourable prime minister and all political party leaders in the kingdom, the people of Lesotho are crying for peace and development. Please hear their cries!" Zuma said.

The SADC intervened in Lesotho after an attempted coup by the military on August 30, which resulted in Lesotho's then prime minister Thomas Thabane fleeing to South Africa and its parliament being closed.

The attempted seizure of power was blamed on "renegade" Lesotho Defence Force commander Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli, who had reportedly refused to step down from the military and was accused of a series of attacks on police and political rivals.

The SADC's role was to support and facilitate dialogue aimed at securing peace, security and stability in the country.

The SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) deployed observers in all 10 districts of Lesotho.

On Tuesday Zuma reaffirmed the SADC's readiness to assist the country "on the required constitutional and security sector reforms".

"Considering that Lesotho has successfully conducted her elections, the [SEOM] which has been in Lesotho since September 2014 will soon close down," he said.

The SEOM's mandate in the mountain kingdom would come to an end on March 31.

He thanked Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and those running the SEOMs for a job well done.

"Deputy President Ramaphosa and the SADC mission in no small measure played a pivotal role in assisting to resolve the challenges facing Lesotho.

"We equally take this opportunity to thank the outgoing government of former prime minister Thabane and the people of Lesotho for the hospitality and support extended to the SADC mission over the past few months," he said.


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