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Mugabe in South Africa For Lesotho Crisis Talks

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

President Robert Mugabe and South African President Jacob Zuma in South Africa recently.

President Robert Mugabe and South African President Jacob Zuma in South Africa recently.

President Robert Mugabe is in South Africa for a Southern African Development Community troika meeting on the political crisis in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

The meeting was convened following the assassination of former Lesotho Defence Force Commander Maaparankoe Mahao last week, which has escalated tempers in the volatile kingdom.

The state-owned ZBC says as a senior statesman in the region, Mr. Mugabe is expected to play a key role in the resolution of the crisis.

Mr. Mugabe is both chairman of the SADC and the African Union.
Political analyst Nkululeko Sibanda says so far not any major achievement has been scored by the President since he took over as both SADC and AU chair.

“We do know that there are a few Africans who are ideologically inclined to Mugabe who are excited about his leadership,” said Sibanda.

“We haven’t seen anything tangible taking place in terms of any changes taking place in the continent moving forward, even just at an intellectual level.”

The summit was expected to kick off earlier Friday in Pretoria and was expected to find a solution to Lesotho’s political crisis, following Mahao’s death.

Lesotho’s President Pakalithi Mosisili claimed he didn't know how Mahao was killed.

He said the army had told the government that the ex-army chief attempted to resist arrest resulting in an exchange of fire.

Press reports say opposition leaders, journalists and lawyers who have spoken out against Mosisili and his defence force chief, Tlali Kamoli, are fleeing the country.

Three opposition leaders have fled the country so far, fearing for their lives. This includes former Prime Minister Tom Thabane, an ally of Mahao’s.

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