The former Prime Minister Dr Pakalitha Mosisili has urged the nation to support the establishment of the Transitional Justice Commission as part of initiatives to close the chapter of hurt and pain caused by political calamities of the past.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of National Reforms Authority (NRA)’s forum last Friday at Manthabiseng Convention Center, Mosisili indicated that many people had one way or the other fallen victim to such issues hence the need for closure.
Despite arguments and heated tensions that broke-out, the idiom spitting erstwhile Premier stated that the authority was faced with a mammoth task albeit at the expense of limited time.
The three-day forum was held under the theme; Towards Securing Sustainable Peace, Political Stability, National Unity, Reconciliation and Social Justice in Lesotho,” which started on Wednesday and ended on Friday.
Mosisili coughed-out that he had also had his fair share of misery back in 1970 and 1994 when he was arrested and locked up by the Lesotho Defense Force. His argument was that since many people are victims, there is a need to stage a commission.
“NRA called this forum so that it can be helped to make informed decisions having collected the ideas of the nation in this topic of seeking everlasting peace. It is clear as stipulated by plenary two that NRA shall establish an all-encompassing Transitional Justice Commission suitable to Lesotho’s context to address incidents of human rights violations and injustices with a focus on reconciliation, peace building, reparation and compensation without compromising justice and impunity,” he said.
“In Lesotho, there is no one who is not a victim of one or another assault. If I can stand here and tell you how I became a victim, everyone can narrate their story in here.
“I was still a little boy along with Lesao Lehohla and others in 1970 when we got arrested and locked up, I also became a victim when I got arrested in 1994 by Lesotho Defense Force along with Maope, Moleleki and Shakhane. We have all become victims in different ways and if we can tell our sad stories we can’t finish,” he said.
“Let NRA to go ahead with the mandate for God’s sake,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Machesetsa Mofomobe who is also leader of the co-ruling Basotho National Party leader (BNP) echoed similar sentiments as the elderly politician.
“As Dr Mosisili mentioned, we are all victims and I have been kidnapped uncountable times, but that does not bar a quest to have peace. If we can come to such a big forum where we all want to build peace and with all intentions, we cannot shy away from the fact that there is bill leading all these proceedings.
“This will lead us to a point where there is litigation and this will be challenged,” he said.
The emotional tensions that broke-out included the police officers who were monitoring the safety of the forum to intervene.