Bullet for police boss

Bullet for police boss

MASERU – A senior police commander in Butha-Buthe district on Tuesday received two bullets and a note on his desk threatening unspecified action against him, thepost heard yesterday. The death threat comes a week after Senior Superintendent Teboho Khesa, who is the police boss for Butha-Buthe, tried to contain some rumblings of discontent within the police over a six percent salary row with the government. Sources within the police said when S/Supt Khesa entered his office on Tuesday morning, he found two bullets wrapped in a plastic bag.

There was also a note on his table with the message: “Watch out small boy.” S/Supt Khesa declined to comment on the death threats and referred thepost to police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli. Mopeli confirmed the incident and said investigations on the matter were continuing. He said the police were not going to speculate on the cause of the threats as their investigations had just begun. Sources within the police told thepost that S/Supt Khesa had been left shaken by the death threats.

There is intense discontent within the police after the government refused to award a six percent salary raise to police officers when it awarded all civil servants a salary bump in 2015. The Lesotho Police Staff Association has been fighting the government to get the six percent salary increment for the last three years. Last week, the police in Butha-Buthe stepped up the pressure on the government by demanding the salary raise. Police officers were seen in the streets wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “6 percent” on their backs. LEPOSA however rejected charges that they had embarked on an “industrial action” to press the government to resolve the dispute.

The union said the six percent salary demand was being “negotiated through proper channels”. In a statement dated April 24, 2018, LEPOSA said it had learnt with shock and disappointment that there were unfounded allegations suggesting “that their members had embarked on an industrial action”. “We wish to dismiss in the strongest possible terms the allegations,” the statement said. “We gauge these unfortunate allegations to be fraught with a concealed agenda behind it,” said the statement.

In yet another statement, also dated April 24, LEPOSA said it had noted with dismay and shock the arbitrary and malicious seizure of the association’s attire at the police headquarters. The memo said the association had also taken note of the “threats” meted to its members by senior police officers. “Members are therefore informed that the leadership of LEPOSA is diligently working on this matter and will leave no stone unturned to reach its final determination,” the memo read. However, the police management in a statement this week said it had come to their attention that some police officers were resorting to unlawful acts to push for the six percent salary raise.

The statement said “all members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service know better that under no circumstances, as law enforcement officials, can they resort to unjustified unlawful activities”. “All those rogue elements within the organisation, should, forthwith, stop such intended activities as serious measures will be taken against such officials should they continue with such unfortunate plans and or acts,” the statement read.

Majara Molupe

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