Lesotho coup: Mugabe’s chance to flex muscles

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.

STAFF REPORTER

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.

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23 Comments

  1. Mugabe needs to allow SA as Chair of security to act. If Zimbabwe leads that will be the end of Lesotho diamonds!That country depends on the little diamonds for its small economy and sending Zimbabwean army (assume the ZDF sends its men) will transfer these diamond mines into MaShefu(army generals as happened in DRC)

  2. If the Zimbabwean army goes to Lesotho.That will be the end of Lesotho diamonds!!

  3. Aaah this mugabe of yours is himself a de facto leader of a coup executed in 2008. The only thing is he did it in such a subtle way that SADC leader did not really perceive that it happened. And also that it was done by one of them. It won’t be allowed if it entails change in leadership from the old guard.

  4. @Tsoro, Biti who was the epicentre of elections’ fraud claims has denied them and says Chematama lost clean in six elections. Biti is telling it as is and this Nikuv nonsense must be put to rest.

  5. seems sadc was created for dictators against their people. they should let lesotho solve own problems the manner zim was let. there is important fish to fry in zim for mugabe than go playin in s.a.

  6. LESOTO will never be a colony again.it is a sovereign state leave them alone.

  7. @ gandanga. wat do urself anticipate biti to say. gezi nxondo zakho

  8. hw on earth can somebody b a dissident in own country of origin. it defies logic .

  9. Tsoro is very right. What happened after the March 2008 elections. Why did SA not sent its army.
    Leave Lesotho alone.

  10. sociedad 4-2 madrid. edios los blancos

  11. this will be an interesting scenario how is Mugabe going to deal with this one since he himself is holding the country at ransom if SADC agrees to intervene they are also obliged to intervene in our situation of the stolen election

  12. empty noises, sadc is a toothless dog. they can’t do anything about anything, watch and see.

  13. NDEZVEIKOKO

  14. kkkkkkkkkkkk koo imi makauraya more than 200 pple in 2008,who send Army in Zim?if u send our brothers it means u have to go with them as their commander.nxaaaaaaa stop doing rubbish things.

  15. @Gandanga ,dont be foolish. What would u expect to hear from Biti? Wake up and smell the coffee. Millitary coups are not a good thing and should not be encouraged esp in our region. Sadc must send an army to Lesotho to remove these bastards.

  16. How convenient, intervene in a country that mines diamonds, another scenario where the top brass will benefit from the spoils of war. Does DRC and the backing of the late Laurent Kariba ring a bell where our top brass were smuggling minerals out of the Congo. VaMugabe nhamo dzeZimbabwe vapedza here? I think we have enough problems at home than worry about Lesotho selfish as it may seem

  17. You people clearly don’t understand this situation at all, the army has killed our police and tried to assasinate our Prime minister. So if SADC doesn’t intervene we will be under military rule and right now our police force is in hiding so please do your research before you go on and say things you have no idea about 🙁

  18. no reason to send an army.if they send army vanodherera sei vasina kudaro kwaGadafi.they must not expose themseves.If Zuma agrees to send an army he must also send an army to run proper and normal elections in zim.The dictator was nominated chair to protect dictators.sadc is a mafia

  19. It is my opinion that the incident in Lesotho or any other such incidence should not be tolerated in the SADC region. If such things are left to fester, they may be breeeding ground for terroists like Boko Haram or Alqueda which the region has no capacity to effectively deal with. We should see beyond our sadistic circumstances and look at things in the broader context of regional stability. Remember, it is not the people of Lesotho who stood up against the government but the military. Such precedences are dangerous. Imagine if such could happen in Zimbabwe, wouldn’t we go begging the world to intervene.

    Are our memories so short or deliberately selective that we forget that after 2008 and to a certain extent 2013 elections, we were begging the word to intervene? That was an elecoral crisis, a civilian crisis what more a military crisis. The SADC must intervene, nomatter what it takes (even militarily), under the leadership of Zimbabwe as the chair of the SADC and South Africa as the chair of the Organ Troika and neighbour to Lesotho.

    The Lesotho issue isnt simply a political issue, it is moreso a security and stability issue

  20. ?:-@ Sober Voice……Ndokutaura kwevarume ikoko.

  21. Mugabe’s intervention is likely going to be subjective, and definitely he is going to support the side which supposedly don’t want to step down no matter how democratic is the move!

  22. Rasekolana is right.
    Mugabe wil always support stagnant persistance.despite it being democratic or not.
    Better for democratic leaders to make decisions.

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