Memorandum of Understanding signed by Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki (pictured) and Official Leader of Opposition Mathibeli Mokhothu (pictured).
Whereas all political parties and extra-parliamentary stakeholders in the Kingdom of Lesotho convened in a National Leaders Forum in Lesotho on 23 and 24 August 2018.
And further Whereas the parties agreed to and signed the attached Declaration on Comprehensive Reforms signalling their commitment to a National Dialogue on a Consensus basis on how to move forward on the Reform Process.
And whereas the parties agreed to the establishment of the National Dialogue Planning Committee (NDPC) and noting that the Opposition parties in parliament had as a result of certain actions elected to temporarily withdraw from the process.
And noting with gratitude the willingness of all parties to continue to participate in the process in a dead-lock breaking mechanism meeting held on 15 and 16 October 2018.
And whereas their deadlock breaking meeting was convened by the Facilitation Team with the Chairperson of the Oversight Team and its delegation overseeing the process.
And Whereas the parties of the coalition ruling party and the coalition of opposition parties have participated in the honest and frank discourse.
Now therefore it is agreed between the parties as follows:
- The parties unequivocally commit themselves to the declaration of the National Leaders Forum as set out in Annexture A and their ongoing participation.
- The parties affirm the composition of the NDPC and confirm that it would be the vehicle to prepare for the National Dialogue.
- The present Terms of Reference of the NDPC for implementation of the Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue and any agreed amendments shall be the Framework that shall bind all parties to the agreement.
- The government of the Kingdom of Lesotho shall continue to respect and comply with all court orders and the rule of law and uphold the independence of the judiciary and continue to be the custodian of the law.
- The parties agree that there shall be a National Leaders Forum in the first week of November 2018 which shall, among other things, consider the recommendations of the NDPC on the thematic areas, the nature of participation in the thematic areas of the dialogue and the duration of the dialogue.
- The parties recommit themselves to ensure that no public statement shall be made that shall have the effect of eroding the credibility or integrity of the reform process.
- The parties unequivocally affirm their respect for the integrity and honesty of the Facilitation team and its Leader, for the work done by the Facilitation team on behalf of SADC and also the role and responsibility of SAPMIL and the SADC oversight committee.
- The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho has undertaken that it will coordinate the resources made available by the UNDP, European Union and Government to support fully the work of the NDPC and the National Dialogue Process.
- The parties agree to participate fully in this process and in the utmost good faith until the completion of the reform process.
- The government of the Kingdom of Lesotho shall ensure the safety of all citizens in exile and must provide adequate security for Mr Metsing and other similarly placed exiled. Mr Metsing and similarly placed persons in exile will not be subjected to any pending criminal proceedings during the dialogue and reform processes. The coalition of opposition parties undertakes to convey the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho’s undertaking to Mr Metsing and other persons in exile. They further undertake to persuade Mr Metsing to return to the Kingdom of Lesotho no later than the commencement of the National Dialogue. Should Mr Metsing not return as envisaged, the National Reform Process will nonetheless continue.
- The government of the Kingdom of Lesotho agrees that it will grant reasonable access to all inmates and will continue to respect their human rights.
- In order to resolve disputes the parties have agreed to create a deadlock mechanism comprising two representatives from each side (Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho and Coalition of Opposition Parties) where discussions could take place to resolve disputes. Should the mechanism fail then the dispute would be referred to the Leader of the Facilitation Team for mediation and resolution.
- The government of the kingdom of Lesotho shall issue a government gazette confirming the constitution of the NDPC and its Term of Reference within 72 hours of the meeting of the NDPC on 16 October 2018.
- The parties shall create a mechanism within parliament in due course to process recommendations emanating from the National Dialogue for implementation.
- NO party shall make any statements inciting violence or a threat of violence or threaten the security of the state or the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Lesotho.
- The coalition of opposition parties have presented the government of the kingdom of Lesotho a list of persons who are alleged to have died in police custody. The government of the kingdom of Lesotho has undertaken to investigate and report to the Coalition of Opposition parties in due course.
- The coalition of opposition parties have raised their concern with the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho relating to the MoAfrika FM. The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho explained that this is due to expansion of the transmission infrastructure. The government trusts that the expansion project will be completed as soon as possible and will report to the Coalition of the Opposition parties.
Signed on 16 October 2018 at Maseru, Lesotho
On behalf of the Kingdom of Lesotho
Deputy Prime Minister
On behalf of the coalition of Opposition parties
Official leader of Opposition