Maseru, Apr. 03—- Dr. Carol Chi Ngang of the National University of Lesotho (NUL) says it is the Constitution that governs the country.
This he said during a celebration of 30th anniversary of the Constitution of Lesotho which was held at the High Court of Lesotho in Maseru on Monday.
He stated that Lesotho is a constitutional and democratic monarchy therefore the Constitution should be of benefit to its people. He indicated that the Constitution of Lesotho enshrines fundamental human rights, adding that it guarantees protection of those rights. He pointed out that a constitutional system does not allow oppression to happen.
Dr. Ngang pointed out that the powers of the government are limited by the provisions of the Constitution. He emphasised that in the exercise of state powers, there must be accountability and transparency. He indicated that the judiciary has powers to strike out any unconstitutional actions and decisions.
He emphasised a need to prioritise constitutional rights of Basotho in order to achieve constitutional democracy. He added that Lesotho should establish Human rights Commision.
Speaking at the same occasion, Dr. Itumeleng Shale also from NUL stated that Constitutional Democracy demands that one works within the requirements of the Constitution. She indicated that the provisions of the Constitution have been abused to achieve political gains in the country. She added that violation of human rights continues to exist in the country despite the Constitution being there to protect the people.
She remarked that there is a high prevalence of police brutality in the country adding that it has been encouraged and condoned for a long time. She pointed out that there is no political will to change the situation and prosecute officers responsible for the brutality.
Dr. Shale remarked that the judiciary plays an important role in fostering Constitutional Democracy in Lesotho. She said litigations should be instituted when things are not done according to the Constitution. She added that the judiciary should listen to the public outcry as they are not happy about the manner in which the judiciary and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) handle bail issues.
She pointed out that the Constitution has been resilient adding that it has taken the country through the early stages of democracy and political instability among others. She emphasised that it should be celebrated. She said it is time to retire it (the Constitution) for the new one as amending it will not be useful.
The Constitution of Lesotho is the supreme law of the country adopted in 1993 and amended in 1996, 1998 and 2001 respectively. It is provided that if any other law is inconsistent with the Constitution, it shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.