New boss for NSS

New boss for NSS

MASERU – PHEELLO Ralenkoane, 57, has been appointed Director General of the National Security Services (NSS) as the government moves to consolidate its grip on power.  The appointment was with effect from last Thursday.
Ralenkoane replaces Colonel Tumo Lekhooa who moved back to his position as the commander of the military intelligence in the army. Lekhooa had moved to the NSS on secondment.

The appointment of Ralenkoane is part of the new government’s shake-up of the key security sector. Ralenkoane served in the NSS for almost 33 years but retired two years ago in October 2015. While on retirement, Ralenkoane had ventured into farming. He was the head of the NSS in Thaba-tseka district before he retired.

Ralenkoane ran for a parliamentary seat in the June 3 election under the Basotho National Party (BNP) in the Kolo constituency. He lost to the DC. The BNP is a junior partner in the four-party coalition government led by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

“I am serving a political position but I am not going to take sides,” Ralenkoane told thepost last night. “I am going to serve the whole Basotho nation impartially.”  He said he is going to help in the fight against crime working together with other security agencies like the army and police as these institutions complement each other.

Ralenkoane said while the government could put its own people in strategic positions, such people are professionals who work hard for the national good. He said he is in the position to push the agenda of the government in power.  Asked to comment on the relationship between the security institutions in the country, Ralenkoane said the relationship is good and has to be strengthened in order to combat threats to national security.

When further asked about his mandate as the new NSS boss, he said the mandate is the same for all the DGs.
“That is to ensure that the Basotho nation lives in peace,” he said.

Ralenkoane said the NSS’s infrastructure is poor and that makes it difficult for them to work. He declined to reveal details because of the sensitivity of their work. “There is some information that we cannot share with the media because our institution deals with big sensitive national issues,” he said.
He said he is going to ask for resources from the government in order to accomplish his mission at the NSS.

Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) deputy leader, Tšeliso Mokhosi, said Ralenkoane’s appointment ran counter to the government’s promise to depoliticise state institutions. Mokhosi said the country could be heading for troubled times adding it was weird that someone who stood and lost in an election could be appointed the Director General of the NSS.

“We are going back to the Leabua Jonathan government back in the 1970s where people were hired on the basis of their political affiliation,” he said.

Majara Molupe

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