Lesotho 'coup' a test for Mugabe – reports

Cape Town – Zimbabwean media reports that the attempted coup in Lesotho gives President Robert Mugabe, who is the new Southern African Development chair, his first test in dealing with coups.

According to The Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe's foreign secretary ambassador Joey Bimha said Mugabe was set to receive an official report on the situation in Lesotho from South Africa's president Jacob Zuma who is the chair of the SADC Organ on Politics.

This comes as reports say Zuma on Sunday summoned Lesotho's political leaders for emergency talks following an apparent coup in the landlocked kingdom.

On Saturday, Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane told the BBC he had fled for his life across the border to South Africa, accusing the military of seizing power in a coup and leaving the country in flux.

Peace and stability

The military, however, denied staging a coup, a claim which few inside the country or abroad seemed to believe.

SA called the meeting in its capacity as the chairing nation of SADC's organ on politics and defence.

NewsAfricaNow quoted spokesperson for South Africa's department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) Clayson Monyela as confirming that talks took place "throughout the night" and were set to  continue today (Monday)

Regional leaders at a recent SADC meeting held in Victoria Falls appealed to all political leaders and the people in general to refrain from any action that could undermine peace and stability in their countries of respect.

SADC is known for its tradition of not allowing the army to intervene in civilian matters

Political analysts in Zimbabwe said Mugabe was likely to urgently organise a regional military intervention if the Lesotho army digs in and refuses to allow Lesotho Thabane back into the country, said a News Day report.