Basotho favour monarchy over feuding politicians

26 April 2018 - 13:03 By Timeslive
King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho.
King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Basotho trust their King more than any other governance institution and even favour amending the Constitution to give him a greater say on issues of national importance‚ according to an Afrobarometer survey.

This comes at the time when Lesotho is preparing to undergo a multi-sectoral reform process.

Under the constitutional reforms component‚ the issue of the King’s role will receive attention.

Basotho are already debating whether the King’s role should remain as that of a ceremonial monarch without any influence or powers on issues of national importance or whether the King should be vested with powers that will give him a more prominent role to play on important national issues‚ said Afrobarometer.

Its key survey findings are:

  • More than two-thirds (69%) of Basotho say they trust the King‚ including 57% who trust him “a lot.” This is more than they trust other governance institutions in Lesotho;
  • Three-fourths (75%) of Basotho say the Constitution should be amended to allow the King more say on issues of national importance. Most (71%) favour this option “very strongly.”

Afrobarometer is a pan-African‚ non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy‚ governance‚ economic conditions‚ and related issues in Africa.

The Afrobarometer team in Lesotho‚ led by Advision Lesotho‚ interviewed 1‚200 adult Basotho between November 25 and December 10‚ 2017. It said a sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-3% at a 95% confidence level. Previous surveys have been conducted in Lesotho in 2000‚ 2003‚ 2008‚2012‚ and 2014.