Lobby and advocacy has been an integral part of MISA Lesotho in its endeavour to strive for a media-friendly environment in the country. The exercise includes a number of activities aimed at sensitising communities about the importance of a conducive media legal environment while at the same time, putting pressure on the government to introduce enabling legislation in Lesotho.
In this regard, MISA Lesotho’s national governing council, in partnership with the Lesotho Sport Reporters Association met the newly appointed Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Honourable Joang Molapo on the 30th June, 2017 in Maseru for a breakfast meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to officially meet the minister and bring to his attention issues that he should address.
The range of issues tabled before the minister were;
- Immediate suspension of the moratorium on issuance of radio licenses
- Adoption of Broadcasting Code to repeal the Broadcasting Rules of 2004
- Adoption of draft Media Policy
- Submission of a report reviewing legislation that impedes media freedom in Lesotho. This report can be used to inform media legal reform under the SADC programme recommended by SADC.
It was MISA Lesotho assertion that the SADC Legal Reforms programme is important as it presents an opportunity to review laws that haven’t been friendly to media for a long time.
In response the minister who was only 27 days in office then, gave himself until the first quarter of 2018 to have some of MISA Lesotho proposal implemented.
In October, 2017, the minister announced adoption of Interim Broadcasting Code. MISA Lesotho views the move as promising, even though as this article is published, the minister had not started to actually implement the code.