PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ENDORSES CIVIL SOCIETY IN LESOTHO

By DPE Communications

During his visit in Lesotho the SADC Facilitator also the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphose endorsed civil society work in the protection of reforms process in Lesotho. In his introductory remarks in his session with civil society and business in President Ramaphosa said that as SADC Facilitation they are grateful for the role civil society has played to this day. “ Your group has consistently reminded all parties that reforms process is significant even when we are preoccupied with issues of stability you have always found way of providing a context for reforms…, your analysis of the situation in Lesotho has always been accurate, relevant and helpful…for that we thank you very much” said SADC Facilitator.

Further Ramaphosa shared with civil society that in order to protect the reforms process from political and governance challenges, agreement has been reached with political leadership that there be a post Plenary II  structure to safeguard and shepherd the process. This structure “should be legislated…” he said.  The civil society delegation made of DPE Coordinator, Executive Direct of LCN and Democracy and Human s Coordinator at LCN could not hold its gratitude.  This is a direct result of civil society lobby and advocacy work around reforms. For DPE this is a very resounding approval because the organisation has been at the core of civil society thinking on reforms since 2014. It is DPE community orientation that has placed it strategically to generate ideas that civil society has used to protect reforms.

After selling the idea to civil society at the last year’s NGO week, DPE advanced to jointly hold with LCN a seminar for political parties and government on the idea of protecting reform after dialogue through structure that is legislated. The proposals were accepted and since then the paper; safeguarding & Shepherding the reforms process has been used for advocacy.

In his welcome remarks the South Africa’s High Commissioner in Lesotho HE Moloto described civil society as a dynamic and progressive group that has generated fresh and objective ideas producing discussion papers and which has demonstrated high commitment in the reforms.

It is gratifying for DPE and the entire civil society fraternity to realise that there are people who are genuine and are bold enough to appraise the work of NGOs. This comes at the time when politicians in Lesotho are determined to undermine and discredit good of civil society. The moral degeneration that has permeated political society  has produce politicians who are so paranoid with civil society particularly those who stand up and challenge wrongdoing.  Politicians have found defaming organisations as their new trick yet not aware how corrosive that is in the public sphere. Instead of accepting uncritically what politicians are saying about NGOs, citizens look at why politicians are unease and make their own judgement.

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