Group  wants Mokhele fired

Group wants Mokhele fired

MASERU – A SMALL group of about 20 people marched to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s offices last Friday demanding the sacking of Police Minister ’Mampho Mokhele.
Mokhele is also acting Minister of Defence.
The group, led by a ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) activist, Mpho Serobanyane, also demanded the ouster of Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli and Army Commander Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela.

Also present at the march was musician and ABC activist, Selimo Thabane, a nephew to the Prime Minister.
The petitioners accused Mokhele and Molibeli of presiding over a police that has perpetrated serious human rights violations in recent months with no action being taken against the killers.
The petition was received by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Temeki Tšolo. Thabane was away on official government business.
The group is demanding that the trio be fired within 14 days. They did not say what they will do in the event that their petition is ignored.
Serobanyane said the conduct of the police was of serious concern to them as many people had died in the hands of police during official operations.
He complained that crime suspects were dying during police interrogations.

He however said the number of people who had died in the hands of soldiers was however much lower when compared to the “bloodshed” caused by the police.
“We never thought that the killings would reach this stage,’’ Serobanyane said.
He said the “narrative currently occupying the discourse should be summarily done way with as every citizen has a right to security, which is entrusted to security services”.
He said when the police and military services brutalise citizens, this leads to uneasiness within society.

Serobanyane said they suspect that the police and army are not professional enough or have not received proper service training to deal with crime.
‘‘This is why they resort to brutality rather than proper investigative processes,’’ he said.
‘‘They are not doing enough to professionalise security services,’’ he added.

‘‘We demand that the security services (must) be reformed and professionalised as this will lead to a free society where the citizens will not live in fear,” he said.
He said that the police often protect each other against investigations when they have killed a crime suspect.
‘‘We demand that all police officers involved (in killings should) be suspended pending investigations,’’ he added.

‘‘Too much of our tax is used to buy arms that are used against the society while more of that tax is spent unnecessarily on compensating innocent victims of security sector brutality,’’ he added.
‘‘We will come together to see to it that our plea is taken into consideration because we will not watch helplessly as Basotho live in fear.”

’Mapule Motsopa

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