- Government Secretary Tlohang Sekhamane has stessed the need for the empowerment of women, especially for Princess Senate Seeiso to be acknowledged as potential successor to Lesotho's King Letsie III. Women are currently and by tradition not considered heirs to the Basotho throne.
The top Basotho civil servant was speaking at the Media Institute of Lesotho (MILES) and Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) journalism awards ceremony at Mpilo Lodge in Lesotho's capital Maseru on Saturday.
"Even though I would prefer not to be quoted on this issue, rightfully Princess Senate is entitled to be the next monarch of Lesotho. However, she might lose the opportunity because she is a woman. But I hope that one day we will converge at the Sesotho stadium to crown her," he said.
Mr Sekhamane cited that in Britain, Queen Elizabeth, a king's eldest daughter, headed that country for many years and Lesotho should follow in the same footsteps.
He expressed hope that the Basotho custom and tradition of crowning only males as monarchs would be changed to promote gender equality, adding that such a thing would empower women in the Mountain Kingdom.
Princess Senate Seeiso is the first child of Lesotho's Head of State, King Letsie III. The constitution of the Kingdom stipulates that the first son of the King succeeds his father to the throne.
King Letsie III has no sons and few expect further royal births. Talk has been doing the rounds in Lesotho whether Princess Sentate or King Letsie's younger brother, Prince Seeiso Seeiso's son should inherit the monarchical position.
Officially, Prince Seeiso Seeiso stands as Crown Prince of Lesotho. The Prince on earlier occasions has said that he would not oppose changes to the constitution in favour of a female heir to the throne. In principle, he said he agreed to such a change.
In Lesotho, the royal Head of State only holds ceremonial powers. Real powers are mainly concentrated in the office of the Prime Minister. The King nevertheless is highly respected and looks back on a proud lineage, founded by the legendary Basotho King Moshoeshoe I, who resisted both Zulu and European invasions.
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