BILATERAL TALKS

Lesotho PM speech missing as Uhuru dances after press conference

No sooner had Uhuru invited Thabane to address the media than he realised that he did not have a written speech.

In Summary

• Lesotho pledges to back Kenya during her quest for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council

• The two countries agreed to establish a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), a Memorandum of Understanding for Bilateral consultations and another one on sports.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with the Prime Minister of Lesotho the Right Hon. Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane at State House, Nairobi on November 11. 2019.
President Uhuru Kenyatta with the Prime Minister of Lesotho the Right Hon. Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane at State House, Nairobi on November 11. 2019.
Image: PSCU

There was drama as visiting Lesotho Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane said he could not get his speech.

He is in the country for bilateral talks and held a joint conference with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, yesterday.

Soon after Uhuru invited Thabane to address the media, Thabane, who was standing to his left, realised he did not have a written speech. He gazed straight into his delegation asking for his speech.

 

“Where is my paper? It is not there? he could be heard asking before turning to Uhuru saying, "I do not have a paper.”

The remark that was followed by a burst of brief laughter. Thabane did not speak for more than five minutes. 

Lesotho pledged to back Kenya's bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Uhuru saying the kingdom is one of Kenya’s strongest allies on the global stage.

“Your endorsement of Kenya as the Africa Union's candidate for the non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-22 term is an affirmation of the strong bilateral relations that exist between our two sister countries,” the President said.

Thabane praised Uhuru for being "friendly and generous".

“My dear brother, you know it was a natural thing for me to come here and you knew it was a matter of time before I come and that time has come, it has happened ... I know you to be a good man and I encourage you to be a good man. I know you to be a generous person,” he said as he beamed with smiles.

"I know you to be my friend and I want you to continue being my friend. I know that your dear wife is a friend to my wife, therefore, there is no problem going out and leaving them somewhere together when we have to.”

 

Immediately after the press briefing, Uhuru escorted his guest to a waiting car and after waving him off, the President engaged in a brief conversation with Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba and PS Kamau Macharia.

The jovial President then made his way towards his office and at some point, he could be seen happily clapping and making some dance moves then stopped to have a conversation with his aide-de-camp.

During a meeting that lasted for close to three hours, the two countries signed three agreements geared towards boosting the bilateral cooperation.

They agreed to establish a Joint Commission for Cooperation, a Memorandum of Understanding for Bilateral consultations and another one on sports.

Uhuru said the commission will enable the two countries to identify and explore areas of cooperation while the MoU on sports will provide an opportunity for the development of sports as an economic activity.

In particular, the President said the sports pact will see the two countries enhance cooperation in training and the application of sports operations.

“I, therefore, urge our respective teams to work expeditiously to ensure that the negotiations are completed and that the framework is put in place,” Uhuru said.

He said Kenya will explore Lesotho’s textile sector as the country roles out its Big 4 Agenda especially the manufacturing pillar. He noted that the Southern African nation has one most vibrant textile sectors on the African continent with a growing share of the global apparel market.

The President said Kenya has embarked on a plan to revive its textile industry which he said has the potential to create high-value jobs to help address the challenge of unemployment that is facing the youth.

“We recognise the Kingdom of Lesotho has deployed technology, utilised branding and market positioning to develop one of the best textile industries in Africa,” he said.