We’ve been condemned to death!

We’ve been condemned to death!

As a society we have accepted certain unusual behaviours as normal way of being or living as Basotho. Mediocrity, substandard, amateurishness, laziness, shabbiness and low-grade has become an integral part of Basotho’s DNA.
We have normalised the killing of innocent citizens by armed forces.
Corruption has become our second nature. We know no other lifestyle but being corrupt. We violate the rights of others every day and our conscience is no longer sensitive to such inhuman violations.

It all began when the Prime Minister instructed the police at a rally that suspected criminals should be beaten to pulp (tokho). This policy statement has never been corrected.
Minister Tšolo later told a government gathering (pitso) in Mafeteng that the police should use maximum force to kill criminals. The Prime Minister has never reprimanded Minister Tšolo for putting his government into disrepute.

The policy was later reiterated by Minister Mapesela during a press conference where he ordered the army officers to “shoot to kill” criminals. Again the Prime Minister has never corrected this unfortunate policy statement. Innocent civilians and suspected criminals have been slaughtered following Thabane’s orders.
The coalition government introduced the “shoot to kill” policy by proclamation.

So how do we know its government policy? The decree was first issued by the Prime Minister and later two ministers affirmed the proclamation. State forces implemented the policy.
Now we know that coalition government is operating a “shoot to kill” policy under which suspected criminals and innocent citizens have been deliberately killed without any attempt to arrest them. Those arrested are tortured and killed in police custody.
The government has institutionalised the killing of suspects and innocent citizens.
Last weekend, Poshoane Moloi was laid to rest at Kao. He was deliberately killed by the police who raided his village looking for guns and every male in the village was a suspect.
The statements made by Prime Minister, Minister Tšolo and Minister Mapesela are reckless because the police and the army since their establishment have always been the primary violators of human rights. The police and the army are a law unto themselves.
They arrest fellow citizens, beat them up because they would have already judged them. In the past one year, the police and the army have served capital punishment to more than thirty five civilians.

In the past two years, the government has officially been operating a “shoot-to-kill” policy, under which over 35 people have been killed by the police and the army.
“Shoot to kill” is an unfortunate policy implemented by state institutions that are supposed to protect citizens.
Minister Mapesela gave a directive to soldiers to “shoot to kill criminals.” Mapesela misdirected himself and the military institution. The soldiers’ primary mandate is not to deal with criminals. In fact soldiers are not even trained to handle criminals.

Since the announcement of the new government’s “shoot-to-kill” policy, soldiers never disappointed their masters, they obeyed orders and deliberately killed without any attempt to arrest the suspected criminals and those that get arrested die in police custody.
In fact, the government has condemned them to death.

This is a sad time to be alive in this country. What is so wrong with the “shoot-to-kill” policy? Everything about it is unlawful and morally questionable. We cannot let these wanna be “Basotho gods” get away with murder of innocent people.

Notable incidents alleging the use of the “shoot-to-kill” policy include the Kao village ambush that killed Poshoane Moloi. At the same village it is also alleged that a pregnant woman was clobbered by the police and the unborn child is no more. Moitšupeli Lerotholi was shot and killed at Ha Peete in Quthing. Tau Khauoe was shot and killed during a road block in Motimposo. Sello Kabi was shot and killed during an ambush in Mapoteng. These are just a few examples.

What is frustrating is that no one has been held accountable for these heinous crimes. These two years have proven that this government is incapable of addressing issues of human rights violations. Giving Prime Minister Thomas Thabane another five-year term would be a grave mistake. Work to defeat him and his government has to happen right now.
When Mosisili’s government killed Mahao, Qobete and Khetheng, the opposition (the government of today) made so much noise and campaigned on that ticket. Basotho turned against Mosisili and stopped his government because they believed it was wrong for them to have killed people.

It’s about time we play a critical role in helping stop Thabane’s reckless and morally-bankrupt government in its tracks. Thabane has made killing part of our lives. It’s normal for police and the army to kill innocent citizens and suspected criminals without any attempt to arrest them.
Killing Basotho is a deliberate government policy. Thabane is truly in a league of his own. He has a talent unmatched by any other Prime Minister. He flouts the law and goes against conventional wisdom. He also disrespects and ignores rules.

By: Ramahooana matlosa

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