Mr Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane was sworn in as the tenth Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho at a colourful ceremony in Maseru on 28th October 2022, and pledged to fix the economic, and social imbalances in the country to achieve macroeconomic stability.
At a ceremony attended by the Head of State of Lesotho, King Letsie III, and several Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government, the Right Honourable Matekane, whose party, Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), won the country’s general election held on 7th October 2022, promised to enhance inclusive and sustainable economic growth, private sector job creation, strengthen human capital, and build an enabling infrastructure in the kingdom.
He said his government would strengthen national governance and accountability systems for improved service delivery; strengthen climate risk management resilience and adaptation, and public financial management. The new government would uproot corruption and stop the rampant embezzlement of public funds, restore hope in the people of Lesotho, solicit their buy-in and launch the country onto new horizons, and higher and more ambitious levels of development.
“I promise that I will spearhead the process to right our country’s historical wrongs and make Lesotho great again. We are equal to this task, and we will not be found wanting,” said Rt. Hon. Matekane.
The incoming premier said as Lesotho pursues a new growth model, the importance of expediting ongoing national reforms would not be over-emphasised. Lesotho’s journey towards peace, political stability and tolerance has improved over the years following the resolution of SADC Double Troika Summit held on 24th April, 2018, in Luanda, Angola, which appointed South African President, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, as mediator to the security and political challenges in the country.
President Ramaphosa was assisted by a team of mediators led by former South African Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, resulting in dialogue among Lesotho’s political players aimed addressing the security and political challenges. SADC promoted open and transparent dialogue to allow the people of Lesotho to express their views and this resulted in the creation of the National Reforms Authority, which piloted legislative reforms in the country despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, H.E Hage Geingob, who is President of the Republic of Namibia, congratulated the Rt. Hon. Matekane for his inauguration and for being elected in a poll declared by the SADC Electoral Observation Mission, the African Union Electoral Observation Mission and other electoral observation missions as having been held in a calm, secure, free and fair environment.
H.E Geingob commended all the parties that took part in the election for having contributed to the peace and for demonstrating that their country’s national interests are above all other interests. He said the SADC Organ will continue to support efforts towards the realisation of political reforms aimed at ensuring democracy, peace and stability in Lesotho, and assured the incoming Prime Minister of the Organ’s unequivocal support towards efforts being led by H.E President Ramaphosa.
President Geingob also said he looks forward to further deepening bilateral cooperation between Namibia and Lesotho and urged the Rt. Hon. Matekane to unite the people of Lesotho in pursuing the goals of peace, stability and development and showing that national interests were above political party interests.
H.E Ramaphosa commended the people of Lesotho for their determination for a stable and peaceful country and to forge a just and prosperous future for their country. He congratulated all Basotho for successfully exercising their democratic right in the elections.
H.E Ramaphosa welcomed the commitment of the incoming government of the Kingdom of Lesotho to give priority to the finalisation of the work of the National Reforms Authority, saying he believed that the issue of justice and reconciliation is within the grasp of the people of Lesotho.
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by the President of Botswana, H.E Mokgweetsi Mosisi and the President of Zambia, H.E Hakainde Hichilema.