Elias Phisoana Ramaema

Major-General Elias Phisoana Ramaema (10 November 1933 – 11 December 2015)[1] was Chairman of the Military Council and Council of Ministers of Lesotho (Head of government) from 2 May 1991 to 2 April 1993.[2][3]

Born at Mapoteng, Berea District, Ramaema completed his high school education at Roma College in 1956. He worked as a migrant laborer at the President Steyn gold mine in Welkom between 1957 and 1958. After failing to secure employment he returned home and joined the Basutoland Mounted Police the following year. After the country's independence, he was transferred to the newly formed paramilitary Police Mobile Unit, which later became Lesotho Defence Force. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and received specialized training in South Africa. As one of the six members of the Military Council, he oversaw the Ministries of Planning, Finance, Public Service, and Labour and Manpower Development. Government sources also described him as a mediator in conflicts between the Military Council and King Moshoeshoe II and General Justin Lekhanya's right-hand man.

His greatest accomplishment was overseeing Lesotho's transformation back to civilian rule, which he revoked the Order No. 4, the Suspension of Political Activities Order and dropped the draft constitution clause that would have enshrined a military presence in the cabinet. He also presided over constitutional negotiations and permitted parliamentary elections that resulted in his peaceful transition of power to the newly democratically elected government of Ntsu Mokhehle.[4]

After stepping down as prime minister, he retired from the military and engaged in private and public ventures which included serving in parliamentary committees as well as the special advisory to the High Court of Lesotho. He died in 2015 at the age of 82.[5]


  1. ^ Ramaema, Col. Elias. The International Who's who: 1990-91. Europa Publications Limited. 1990. ISBN 9780946653584. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  2. ^ "PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE 22nd MEETING" (PDF). disarmament.un.org. United Nations. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  3. ^ Lestimes (24 December 2015). "Govt lavishes praise on late military ruler".
  4. ^ Historical Dictionary of Lesotho (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press. 13 June 2013. pp. 448–449. ISBN 9780810879829.
  5. ^ "Minister praises late commander". Lesotho Times. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
Preceded by Chairman of the Military Council
Succeeded by