Lesotho coup: Mugabe’s chance to flex muscles

Lesotho coup: Mugabe’s chance to flex muscles

via Lesotho coup: Mugabe’s chance to flex muscles 1 September 2014

THE weekend military coup in Lesotho has provided new Sadc chairperson President Robert Mugabe with an opportunity to flex his muscles and display his aversion to military coups, political analysts said yesterday.

The analysts said Mugabe was likely to urgently organise a regional military intervention if the Lesotho army digs in and refuses to allow Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane back into the country.

Thabane fled the mountainous kingdom on Saturday and sought refuge in South Africa after the army closed in on his official residence and police stations in Maseru.

Thabane has since accused his deputy Mothetjoa Metsing of working in cahoots with the army in the coup, although the latter has denied the charge.

Analyst Charles Mangongera said the Sadc leaders meeting in South Africa were likely to rally behind Thabane.

“Sadc is well known for its aversion of military coups unlike other political groupings in West Africa. There is no such tradition of recognising military governments in Sadc and that, therefore, means they will not accept it,” Mangongera said.

“They will go all out to drive out the army by all means including some kind of military intervention, in which case South Africa because of its geographical location, would play a pivotal role in mobilising the army to crush the dissidents.”

Another analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said: “This should be the easiest task for Mugabe. Sadc is known for its tradition of not allowing the army to intervene in civilian matters. Sadc should just rein in the military leaders behind the coup plot and allow the due process of the law to take its course. Staging or attempting a coup is treasonous and the culprits should face the consequences of their actions.”

South African President Jacob Zuma, who is head of Sadc’s Organ on Defence, Politics, Peace and Security, called an urgent meeting to discuss the Lesotho crisis.

Zimbabwe as the chair of the regional bloc is also attending the meeting which will, among other factors, focus on workable mechanisms to restore peace and stability in Lesotho.

Lesotho, which formed its first coalition government in 2012 after elections ousted the 14-year incumbent Pakalitha Mosisili, has undergone a number of military coups since independence from Britain in 1966.

At least 58 locals and eight South African soldiers died during a political stand-off and subsequent fighting in 1998.


  • comment-avatar
    True Zimbabwean 5 years ago

    Being a SADC chairperson does not mean that someone has the right to send his forces to another nation to settle disputes. I do not see anything wrong with a military coup because there is so much injustice which is being done by some of these so called African leaders including violation of human rights, corruption, election frauds, killings and assassinations. They hide behind the musk of calling the coup actors as terrorists and insurgence yet they are actually people who are fighting for their rights. I agree with British Prime minister David Cameron that all these oppressive African leaders despite their disguised efforts they are to be punished with immediate effect especially Mugabe.One wrong move in a foreign country and his done, the international community is watching and their noses are on the ground this time they will be no escape

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 5 years ago

    Bearing in mind that Mugabe cane to power at the head of a foreign sponsored army his alleged aversion to coups is hard to understand.

  • comment-avatar
    Mena Bona 5 years ago

    No diamonds to barter for in Lesotho unlike the DRC when he propped up Kabila. He does nothing that does not result in personal gain. He must think he is going to live for another ninety years but then again the Chinese may have promised him the alexia of life in exchange for the country and he believes them. How they must chuckle.