LESOTHO: Delegation of Bishops of Southern Africa to Observe National Elections

MASERU, FEBRUARY 27, 2015(CISA) – A delegation of the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) is in Lesotho as observer in the national elections to be held on February 28.

The group sent to Lesotho consists of the Bishops of Angola, Mozambique and Swaziland and two lay people from Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as well as Fr Dos Reis who coordinates the IMBISA office for Justice and Peace, reported Fides.

IMBISA is a liaison and pastoral collaboration body among the Episcopal Conferences of Angola and Sao Tome (CEAST); Lesotho (LCBC); Mozambique (CEM); Namibia (NCBC); Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland (SACBC); and Zimbabwe (ZCBC).

IMBISA formed a group of Bishops, one for each member Country, as an election observer in 2012 on the occasion of the elections that were held in Zimbabwe.

Over the years, the IMBISA team was able to meet several southern African leaders, such as President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, and that of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, and has visited several Countries to learn from the experience of other election observers.

Both Sadc and African Union are also sending observers to Lesotho where political leaders have reportedly signed an electoral pledge that they “will uphold respect and the constitution of Lesotho as well as accepting the final results of the elections.”

Lesotho will go to the polls on February 28 in an early general election seen as very important and which was called as part of regional efforts to dissolve political tensions in the mountain kingdom after a coup was thwarted last August.

The country – an enclave within South Africa – is home to some two million people – known as Basotho.

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