Lesotho’s Day of Truth

Letter from Maseru

Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane fought off a coup attempt to find himself running for office only six months later. GovernmentZA / Flickr

Earlier this month, embattled Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane addressed a raucous crowd of supporters in the rural district of Mokhotlong, a rugged farming region where elevations reach 11,000 feet. On the eastern edge of Lesotho—the mountainous nation of two million enclosed on all sides by South Africa—thousands of yellow-clad supporters danced and brandished the shining-sun logo of Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party. At the rally, Thabane pushed two main ideas: reducing extreme poverty—a message of particular interest to his rural base in Mokhotlong, where food shortages are common—and curtailing corruption in the upper levels of government. The trip was one of many in the final campaign push before the country’s upcoming special election, which was previously slated for 2017 and is now scheduled for February 28. The fast-tracked election intends to ease political unrest in Lesotho, following the attempted coup against Thabane in late 2014.


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