Lloyd Gumbo in South Africa
PRESIDENT Mugabe arrived in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday ahead of a meeting of the Sadc Troika tomorrow which will look into securing Lesotho’s elections later this month.
President Mugabe, who is the Sadc chairperson, will join South African President Jacob Zuma, who chairs the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (Troika), and Botswana President Seretse Ian Khama as the regional bloc seeks solutions to Lesotho’s problems.
Lesotho goes to the polls on February 28 and Sadc leaders are keen to see the vote pass off peacefully after recent political problems.
A Sadc Observer Mission team is already in Lesotho ahead of the elections to ensure adherence to the regional bloc’s principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.
In August last year, Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane was forced to temporarily flee after a coup attempt led by the country’s military commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli. The August putsch was the sixth since the country attained independence nearly 50 years ago.
A coalition government has ruled Lesotho since May 2012, consisting of the three dominant parties, the Basotho National Party (BNP), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and All Basotho Convention (ABC).
President Mugabe, who touched down at Waterkloof Airport in Pretoria yesterday evening, is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and his Defence counterpart Sydney Sekeramayi.