Mokhothu blasts government

Mokhothu blasts government

MASERU – THE newly elected leader of the Democratic Congress (DC) Mathibeli Mokhothu has taken aim at the coalition government, accusing it of abusing state security agencies.

He was speaking at a political rally in Koro-koro constituency on Sunday for the first time since he was elected the DC leader.

“Both police and the army are supposed to protect both the public and their property,” said, claiming that police have so far killed 43 people, some of the victims from Koro-Koro.
The government denies the claims.

Mokhothu cited the cases of Pakisi Maqaleha, Tumelo Motopi and the son of the late renowned lawyer Tau Khauoe as examples of police brutality.

Mokhothu said attempts to get the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to act on the matter were frustrated after the regional body’s oversight committee accepted the government’s denial of the alleged deaths.

“I told them to go and investigate on their own,” he said.
Mokhothu blamed the coalition government for tampering with the administration of the courts, citing the dismissal of “a white judge” in the Court of Appeal and that of Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara.

“Now the blanket is being torn in courts, they are tearing the blanket,” Mokhothu said, referring to the All Basotho Convention (ABC).
He criticized the government for interfering in the wool and mohair industry and failing to pay farmers who take care of the animals.
“They want to share with the Chinese. Now the trucks were caught full of wool and mohair to the black-market,” Mokhothu said, adding that wool and mohair have helped poor Basotho pay for their children’s education.

He blamed the government for politicising civil service recruitment, an issue he wants to be on the agenda of the ongoing reforms process.
“Workers should not be dismissed or denied promotion just because of politics,” he said.
Mokhothu said the appointment of security sector commanders should be depoliticised.
“They should not be turned into politicians’ puppets,” Mokhothu said.

He also blamed the government for expelling teachers instead of addressing their grievances.
Mokhothu said the Ministry of Education and Training has three ministers yet school feeding programmes had been abandoned.
“These people are there just for themselves,” he said.

Government spokesman Nthakeng Selinyane said some of the issues raised by the opposition actually showed that the state was functional.
“The Ombudsman investigated and produced a report which is highly positive by pinpointing the potholes and suggesting corrective measures,” he said.

He said the prime minister urged both the minister and commissioner of police to institute investigations so that perpetrators of human rights abuses in the police are brought to justice.
He said the commissioner of police told him last month that some of the cases are being completed while some are still under investigation.

“He said some will need an inquest, so now we have a promising progress” said Selinyane.
Selinyane said it was important to distinguish between the ABC and the government.
“You cannot say the disturbances in its rank as a party can be the downfall of the government,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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