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National Reforms Transition after the End of Term of the Former National Reforms Authority (NRA)

National Reforms Transition after the End of Term of the Former National Reforms Authority (NRA)

Keeping the light of reforms still on 

From the Office of the Chief Executive Officer

Lesotho embarked on a comprehensive national reforms with a view to creating a better Lesotho for all Basotho – ‘The Lesotho We Want’. The reforms are intended to promote long-term national stability, unity and reconciliation; creation of professionally well-functioning and effective institutions for the efficient management of public affairs, service delivery and development; and building a national consensus on and implementation of constitutional changes as needed.

The former NRA was formed under the NRA Act No. 4 of 2019 to coordinate, lead and manage the reforms process in the implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the Plenary II within a period of 12 to 18 months. The Authority had a three pronged mandate, viz: reform the laws, reform institutions, recommend mechanisms for peace, national unity and reconciliation.

The term of office of the former NRA ended on the 30th April 2022. In an effort not to leave a vacuum, the Government of Lesotho established a Transitional Office (National Reforms Transitional Office – NRTO) constituted of the former NRA Secretariat for a period of six months effective from the 1st May to 31st October 2022, pending the formation of a new structure that will take the national reforms process forward.

It should be noted that while the transitional arrangements for the new structure are underway, there is a need to ensure that there is continuity of the reforms process until all transitional arrangements have been completed. Due to the fact that the new implementing structure was still not yet in place at the time when the NRTO extended term was about to end on the 31st October 2022,  the Government of Lesotho further extended the term of NRTO for a period of three months effective from the 1st of November to 31st January 2023, to allow enough space for the incoming government to advise itself on the reforms implementation process going forward. Therefore, the NRTO is still keeping the light on, as far as implementation of the reforms is concerned and directly reporting to the Ministry of Justice and Law.

In the nine (9) months of transition from the former NRA to the envisaged implementing agency, the NRTO continued to work behind the scenes. That includes activities, which have been lined up post the development of the constitutional framework. A great deal of this is in the arena of crafting enabling legislation deriving from the Omnibus Constitutional Bill and the resolutions and decisions of the Plenary II.

The Ministry of Justice and Law through the NRTO in collaboration with the UNDP has been coordinating, facilitating, leading and managing other ongoing activities amongst others such as:

  • ‘Institutional Gap Assessment for the Core Governance Institutions’, which is a critical ingredient to the national reforms. The activity is undertaken by the consultant engaged and funded by the UNDP to conceptualise, design and produce an institutional capacity development project document to support operationalisation of the comprehensive implementable institutional capacity development programme. The activity is ongoing, and now that the national elections are over, the next session of Technical Reference Group will be convened during the third week of November 2022.
  • ‘Security Sector Workshop on Expenditure Review’ was held at Molengoane Lodge from the 17th to 21st October, 2022 under the Lesotho/UN National Security Sector Reforms for Peacebuilding Project (NSSRPP). The activity was facilitated by NRTO and lead by the Security Experts from NRTO and UNDP. The ongoing national reforms process has placed security sector reforms as one of the national priorities in a bid to create a security sector that Basotho can be proud of. It is therefore, useful to study the trends of the country’s security sector in the recent past, with a view to improving the financial efficiency of the security agencies and the respective ministries/departments that are responsible for the various security agencies.

The review examined the budgetary institutions and processes in the security sector of the Kingdom of Lesotho, and the extent to which they promote fiscal discipline, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of financial resources. The report will soon be completed.

  • As one of its deliverables, the NRTO is planning to convene a ‘National Stakeholders’ Conference on the Development of the Lesotho National Security Policy and Strategy’ from the 28th to 30th November 2022 at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Center. The key objective is to improve the effectiveness of the sector by optimising contributions and input from all the security sector actors through centralised policymaking process, with the main expected outcome being the national stakeholders’ consensus on the National Security Policy and Strategy that is responsive to the diverse needs of Basotho.
Previous Security sector expenditure review workshop completed

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