Southern African People Solidarity Network (SAPSN) today announced that the Peoples’ Summit will be held in Windhoek, Namibia on the 16th and 17th August, 2018. The theme of the 2018 Peoples’ Summit is, “Reclaiming SADC for social, economic and political justice, free movement and use natural resources for youth employment, affordable land and housing for all.” The theme mostly reflects the issues in the host country Namibia, which are also shared by people in countries’ across the region. As the national focal point for SAPSN, DPE will mobilise, organise and lead a large number of delegates representing the following social movements and social sectors; youth, students’ organisations, trade unions, transport, farmers, media fraternity and civil society organisations to be part of Southern African movements in the summit.
Since the inception of the peoples’ summit, DPE has been entrusted to lead Lesotho delegation and most of those who participated in this platform found it useful for spreading their messages and finding shared platforms for their issues. In 2016 and 2017 for example, when people of Lesotho experienced violation of human rights and the undermining of the rule of law and the pillars of good governance by elected leaders, SAPSN members provided platform for Lesotho delegation to discuss their concerns and take those same concerns to the meeting of the heads of countries’ during a people summit held in Eswatine and the Republic of South Africa. For instance the wives of members of Lesotho defence force who were detained in the maximum prison and the wife of the late comrade LT. General Maaparankoe Mahao also used the platform to talk about abuse of power in the military also linked to extra-judicial killings and assassinations. On the other hand students and farmer`s organisations exchanged views with their counterparts from other countries about issues pertaining to natural resources and climate change resilient agriculture methodologies respectively.
Over and above its usual participation in the summit, this year DPE is also chair of SAPSIN and responsible for organising and preparing for the Summit. As a result, the organisation is working together with the Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN) to take to the Peoples’ Summit the largest delegation that Lesotho has ever sent to the meeting. The country will also lead specific sessions on issues of particular interest to the country, though as expected they will also be shared by other countries. The sessions will be branded ‘Lesotho sessions.’ It is expected that discussions on the future of the process of national reforms will be part of these discussions as will be discussions on the impact of the third phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on communities and the country as a whole. In order to reach a level of agreement, there will be national processes where clusters of participants will be called together and to collectively ground their participation in Windhoek on shared understanding of the key issues. It is expected that delegates from Lesotho will depart on the 14th August 2018 to Windhoek, Namibia for the Peoples’ Summit.
We therefore take this opportunity to invite members of the above mentioned clusters to register their interest to participate in the Peoples’ Summit and the preparatory meetings. We also wish to thank SAPSN members who are always in solidarity with us. We also wish to extent out sincere gratitude to SAPSN and its financial partners who make the annual Peoples’ Summit possible.
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