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SAEF moves to aid Lesotho press

SAEF Secretary General Joseph Ailonga

Dec. 5, 2019 2 min read

2 min read

MASERU – The Southern African Editors Forum (SAEF) has resolved to revive its Lesotho chapter which had in recent times shown signs of inactivity in press related matters in the country.

The decision was reached during the just ended Freedom of Expression Festival held in Maseru beginning December 3 to 4 under the auspices of The African Editors Forum (TAEF).

The Freedom of Expression Festival 2019 was TAEF’s inaugural event of this nature and thrashed out, among others, overview of Freedom of Expression in Africa, the role of media in the advent of ICTs and the 4th Industrial Revolution as well as overview of the reform agenda in Lesotho and the role of the media in transforming her into a country the Basotho want.

Meeting on the side-lines of the Festival, in discussing the future of the regional organisations,  SAEF management resolved to help resuscitate the Lesotho Editors Forum to include both public and private editors so that they can champion the reform process, especially the drawing up of media laws that will provide for an equitable access to information to all Basotho and those residing in Lesotho.

“We envisage an inclusive forum that will also champion the amendment or repeal of all archaic media laws that impinge on freedom of expression. This will ensure that new media laws are responsive to the professional needs of media practitioners in Lesotho, SAEF secretary general Joseph Ailonga said in statement.  

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A six-person steering committee, comprising of five elected members and the MISA-Lesotho chairperson as an ex-officio addition, was established to drive the revival process of the LEF.

The newly elected committee is made up of:  Chairperson -Khatebe Teboho Molefi, Secretary General - ‘Mapitso Sekete Tšiu, MISA chairperson – Boitumelo Koloi and Members  ‘Mankalimeng Rasethuntša, Basildon Peta and Mzimukhulu Sithetho.

SAEF, in the same meeting, took note of the recent strides made by the Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum (ZINEF) to have an inclusive membership of both private and public media editors and senior journalists and resolved to re-admit Zimbabwe into SAEF and continue to monitor it to ensure that they comply with SAEF aspirations.

A decision was also undertake to launch an urgent audit of all existing SAEF chapters to determine which ones were operational and which ones were not and how they can be assisted to stay active; to develop a two-year work plan towards fundraising and project implementation.

SAEF also recommitted to support and build strong country chapters within the South African Development Community region and to steer the region towards being Africa’s media freedom champions.   

Also present for the Festival were TAEF Chairman Jovial Rantao, veteran editor and TAEF member Mathata Tsedu as well as the SAEF Management Committee of Chairman Willie Mponda, Mbongeni Mbingo  the Deputy Chairperson, Joseph Ailonga, Secretary General, Pat Mwase who is the Treasurer and Executive Director Elizabeth Kalambo M’ule.

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