n Africa Conflict Monitor - Lesotho invites another coup d'état : regional analysis - Southern Africa

Volume 2016, Issue 03
  • ISSN : 2311-6943


In a country prone to military-led coups d'état, the firing of the army commander may not be the best means by which to achieve tranquillity in governance. To allow such a commander to remain in power as a loose cannon that might discharge at any time and whose fire can scatter government officials in all directions is not a viable option either. His retention sends the message that the army is untouchable, is not subject to civilian authority and is a power unto itself. This may be the reason for the refusal of Lesotho's current prime minister, Pakalitha Mosisili,to defy calls for the removal of army commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli. Or perhaps Mosisili has had some nefarious dealings with Kamoli, who stands accused of illegal detentions and the torture of detainees. Given the Byzantine nature of Lesotho's politics, this is less a conspiracy theory than the reportage of a likely conspiracy. The call for the general's dismissal that the prime minister ignored has considerable authority; coming from the recommendation of a commission of inquiry into Lesotho's political chaos instituted by the 14 other regional states belonging to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). Key portions of the report were made public in February 2016. Opposition party MPs boycotted parliament for 10 months before returning on 7 March (see page 58), and have promised mass action against government until the recommendations are implemented.

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