The Transformation Resource Centre supported by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary facilitated a dialogue session in Mokhotlong for Polihali Dam affected communities, the LHDA officials, Natural Resource Cluster and Government. The session interrogated the ceaseless concerns of the affected communities regarding compensation, resettlement, pastures, employment opportunities, and with great focus on water and sanitation rights among others. The Centre organised the session with the aim that the fears and concerns of affected communities are responded to by LHDA and other relevant stakeholders and newly collected concerns are documented and given specific timeframes for redress. The Centre also made great effort for the Ministry of Water affairs, Natural Resource Cluster, Mokhotlong MPs and LHDA commit to affected communities in the Polihali catchment in enabling access to clean water and sanitation.
TRC capacitates CSOs and HRDs on how to engage with African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteurs
Transformation Resource Centre organised a capacity building workshop for HRDs and CSOs to learn on how best they can engage with the African Commission mechanism to ensure promotion and protection of human rights in Lesotho, the activity took place at Maseru Avani on the 26th September 2019. The Centre saw the need for HRDs and CSOs to know which mechanisms they can exhaust when faced with rampant human rights violations and closing civic space especially with the consideration of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights as one such mechanism which can be useful through its working committees and special rapporteurs to address problems faced by HRDs and CSOs at national level. The activity aimed at ensuring that HRDs and CSOs in Lesotho effectively engage with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights with a view of promoting and protecting human rights in Lesotho. It also capacitated the HRDs and CSOs in applying for an Observer Status with the African Commission in order to advance the promotion and protection of human rights within communities.
TRC facilitated youth sessions in Maseru, Mafeteng and Mokhotlong from the 27th to the 30th August 2019 and will further hold a similar session in Botha-Bothe. Youth were capacitated on their right to participate and obligation to demand and hold local authorities accountable on issues of concern to them in order to have a voice in community developments. The Centre had learned that youth participation and civic engagement is extremely low and may lead to increasing youth marginalization and exclusion from the benefits that accrue from politics and civic engagement. Young people were made aware of the policies and laws that enable and promote their participation in community developments. TRC encouraged young people to take part in demanding their rights and questioning developments implemented around them.
The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) through the GEF project supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over merino rams to the communities of Malubalube and Popa-Kanana on the 30th August 2019 in Mokhotlong district. The purpose of the project is to promote rearing of quality flock and production of wool and mohair for commercial consumption. The project also initiates zero grazing by stimulating large-scale fodder supply for local farmers in communities through skills gained in fodder production, quality breeding and availed opportunities for starting agroindustry on large scale. TRC in preparatory to the ram donation had empowered communities and strengthened local initiatives in range management, land reclamation for fodder production in order to address range damage and soil erosion. The communities built gabions, planted fruit trees, protected and regulated rangelands and produced fodder. The project responds to challenges of scarce land which animals compete over and has therefore resulted in overgrazing. The communities within Polihali catchement also face problems whereby some of their land will be inundated by water.
The Transformation Resource Centre held a human rights session with Zimbabwe Military College senior staff and students who have come on a study tour in Lesotho through the Lesotho Defense Force invitation. The Centre held discussions on the history of human rights situation in the country to the present situation. The Zimbabwe Military College were also briefed on the civil-military relations in Lesotho which the Centre reckon has quite improved in the current army administration.
Transformation Resource Centre in its advocacy for Good Governance and Human Rights has been closely observing and monitoring the proceedings of the National Assembly of Lesotho’s Public Accounts Committee which resulted from the Auditor General’s report compiled for three consecutive financial years of 2013/14;2014/15;2015/16. As part of Civil Society mandate to strengthen and support all democracy and good governance institutions in the country, while also promoting Public Participation in issues of good governance, TRC held a public forum in the form of a Friends Meeting to discuss the PAC report at in-depth. The panellists were the PAC chairperson Hon. Selibe Mochoboroane, former Accountant General and Independent Auditor at PKF- Mr. Sam Mphaka, Political Scientist-Miss Mamello Rakolobe from the National University of Lesotho, and Mrs Mafani Masoabi who is the Accountant General. The activity attracted Members of Parliament, Government Officials, Civil Society, Academia and Media and aimed to popularise the findings of the report to the public in order to exert pressure on the government to implement the PAC recommendations.
The Transformation Resource Centre held a friends meeting on whether Government of National Unity (GNU) is the solution to the Lesotho’s political instability. The meeting was held on the 14th June 2019 on TRC’s premises. The main Presenters were Mr. Mothejoa Metsing leader of Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Tsepang Tsita Mosena deputy leader of Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and Prof. Nqosa Mahao deputy leader of All Basotho Convention (ABC). Each political party representative presented his or her own party position regarding GNU. Amongst the invitees were members of parliament, political parties, civil society, media and the public. The forum is a platform where all stakeholders can engage on topical matters in the country and help direct TRC’s advocacy. The session was also streamed live on Transformation Resource Centre facebook page.
Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) launched Professor Kopano Makoa’s book titled “Politics, Government and Governance in Lesotho since 1993” on the 5th June 2019 at TRC premises. TRC had published the book on behalf of the professor. The publication provides a brief over view of politics, government and governance in Lesotho since the restoration of the country’s constitutional rule in 1993. It also adds an update to the matured available volume of books in Lesotho’s politics, government and governance of which the last publication belonged to Ferguson (1990) the Anti-politics machine: development, depoliticization and bureaucratic power in Lesotho”. Prof. Makoa’s edition is a suitable read for researchers and undergraduate students studying in the field of politics. It aligns with TRC’s programmatic mandate of good governance constituting of programs such as parliament, human rights, civic education and local government that extensively deal with parliament affairs, local government issues, advocacy in reconstruction of oversight institutions- DCEO, Auditor General and the Ombudsman to improve performance, elections and relations with specific government arms such as the military and police. The book covers all these aspects intensively and more.
The Transformation Resource Centre through its library in the information and Communications department donates 16 880 books to selected 15 primary schools and 26 high schools in Maseru, Mafeteng, Leribe, Botha-Bothe and Mokhotlong. This annual occasion takes place at TRC premises on the 23rd May 2019 from 10.00 a.m. The goal of the project is to promote habitual readership culture and literacy amongst students through the establishment of mini libraries. This generous book donation project has been carried out successfully through the support of Books for Lesotho (B4L). The books will be donated to schools for a five-year period with the anticipation that it is sufficient for the schools to collect an adequate supply of books enabling them to attain the envisioned libraries. The Centre fosters a love for reading and complements the education curriculum with diverse reading material for children to explore and learn.
Transformation Resource Centre in partnership with T – Connexion and LCN organised a Moshoeshoe walk launch on Tuesday 12th February 2019 at Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The activity aimed to kick start the annual event of Moshoeshoe Walk in the context of reforms process. The theme this year is Reforms: Walk for Unity and Accountability.
As part of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) mandate to strengthen democracy and good governance, TRC together with its sister NGOs (under auspices of Lesotho Council of NGOs) have been tasked to collect the views of the public on reforms. For the 2019 Moshoeshoe Walk, TRC will be working in partnership with T Connexion in the organization of this annual event so that the issue of reforms is incorporated. This is aimed at enabling the Centre to have a wider reach of the public who will be participating in the walk as well as the communities through which the route of the walk passes. Preceding this walk, TRC launched the Moshoeshoe Walk in order to give the planned event publicity so that Basotho are inspired to take part in the journey of reforms in large numbers and recognize the Moshoeshoe Walk as an initiative which symbolizes and demonstrates the commitment our nation has taken in this noble project.
During the launch, the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister delivered a keynote speech that promotes the Unity of Basotho at the time that the country is on the verge of embarking on the reforms journey. The reforms process is directly linked to the walk as a symbol of the unity that the founder of the nation believed in, and also encourages Basotho that while the reforms might not seem like the easiest of journeys, it is however possible if Basotho can unite, cultivate the culture of accountability and have a vision of a better desired Lesotho.