Leaders of the political parties represented in the 10th Parliament have applauded members of the National Assembly for having made history after adopting the controversial Omnibus Bill, 2022 in the National Assembly on the final day of the recalled sitting of the House on Monday.
The Prime Minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro expressed gratitude to all the members for what he described as selfless commitment and dedication for enduring and overcoming their political differences to finally adopt the 11th Amendment to the Constitution Bill, 2022.
He, however, warned that it was only the beginning of the long journey they are going to travel to ensure that the much awaited Bill is fully implemented.
”I earnestly appeal to the new government that will be formed after the October 07 general elections to implement the bill to ensure peaceful and steady government,” he highlighted.
The Prime Minister said the primary purpose of the Bill is to ensure that governments are stable and that peace prevails in Lesotho.
He remarked that it was not an easy exercise to finally adopt the 11th Amendment Bill to the constitution, saying there had to be consultations between the two houses of Parliament in order to realize their much needed agreement.
”We started having a meeting which began at 8:00 am on Monday until 15h00 when we finally reached an agreement,” he said to the applause of the members.
The Prime Minister noted that the reform programme began way back but gained momentum in 2014, saying it took eight years to complete.
The leader of the House, Mr. Mathibeli Mokhothu also commended the members for their sterling job, including those from the opposition side, saying they put aside their political differences and put the interest of Basotho above all to eventually adopt the Omnibus Bill, 2022.
He commended the significance of political parties coming together in a coalition set up to work for the betterment of the country and Basotho as a whole.
The Deputy Prime Minister said critics did not believe that Democratic Congress (DC) and its grand coalition partner All Basotho Convention (ABC) could one day work together, saying they have proved the critics wrong.
Mr. Mokhothu took the opportunity to wish Basotho and all the political parties credible and peaceful elections on October 7, saying robust campaigning by the political parties was the manifestation of democracy.
The Former Prime Minister, Dr Pakalitha Mosisili appealed to the new government to avoid corruption at all costs, saying good governance would safe this country.
He officially announced his retirement from active politics, saying he will be watching from the sidelines, after serving the country for a total of 29 years as a Parliamentarian, 16 of which was the Prime Minister.
Dr Mosisili noted with concern that the size of the present members of the National Assembly has increased, making an example that in 1993 there were only 60 members of the National Assembly and that it was later increased to 65 before being increased to 80 and that after the Proportional Representation was introduced, the size increased again to 120.
He noted that the Upper House (the Senate) has since remained unchanged over the years to 33, saying it was high time that it was transformed.
Other political leaders who also added their congratulatory voices were the Leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Mr. Mothetjoa Metsing who returned from exile in South Africa last month as well as the leader of the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) Mrs. Keketso Rants’o.
Out of the total 15 amendments made by the Senate, the National Assembly adopted only two while 13 were rejected by the members.
Among those rejected by the Members included the recommendation by the Senate for the establishment of the office of the Paramount Chief which was expected to assist the office of the King in the performance and discharge of the chieftainship function and duties, to coordinate chieftainship institutions, but without prejudice to any Act of Parliament.
The Members also rejected the amendment by the Senate for the impeachment of the Prime Minister in which they recommended that the His Majesty the King may on the advice of the Council of State and following the recommendation of Parliament, remove the Prime Minister from office by way of impeachment on the ground of misconduct among others.
Head of state King Letsie III in a Legal Notice No. 82 on Tuesday last week, pursuant to section 84 (2) of the Constitution of Lesotho 1993 and acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State and owing to the State of Emergency declared by the Prime Minister in terms of the Declaration of State of Emergency Notice No. 79 of 2022, said there was a need for the 10th Parliament to complete the enactment of the 11th Amendment to the Constitution Bill 2022 and the National Assembly Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2022.
‘King of Lesotho, do hereby recall the 10th Parliament to deal with the business of passing the Bills into law in order to overcome the public emergency.
‘Owing to this urgent need, the Parliament shall convene from the 24th August to the 29th August 2022, thereafter shall stand dissolved,’ he was quoted in the Legal Notice.
Both members of the two houses complied and reconvened on Wednesday to deal with only the two issues of completing the 11th Amendment Bill 2022 and the National Assembly Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2022.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.