NGOs blast Molibeli’s ouster

NGOs blast Molibeli’s ouster

MASERU-LESOTHO’S NGOs yesterday condemned Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s decision to dismiss Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli.
A human rights lawyer, Lepeli Moeketsi, who spoke on behalf of the NGOs said the decision to boot out Commissioner Molibeli was highly irrational.
Moeketsi was speaking at a press conference held in Maseru yesterday.

The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC), the Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental of Organisations (LCN), Survival of Lesotho Dams (SOLD), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and Development for Peace Education (DPE) collaborated in crafting the statement.
Moeketsi said the organisations once raised concerns about police brutality.
He said the organisations closely monitored developments between Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Commissioner Molibeli.
Moeketsi said the rule of law must always prevail.

“Security institutions must be autonomous according to the law,” Moeketsi said.
“Even the Prime Minister does not have power over the functions of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS),” he said.
“Through his interference he is compromising the rule of law and good governance.”

Moeketsi said NGOs are worried that the Prime Minister is using his power outside the law.
He recalled that back in 2012 when the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) refused to subordinate itself to civilian authority, the result was political instability.
Moeketsi said they are worried as NGOs that those in government were abusing their power to cause confusion and instability in the security sector.
Moeketsi said Commissioner Molibeli is being chased away at a time when he is about to complete investigations into the murder of the Prime Minister Thabane’s estranged wife, Lipolelo Thabane.

He commended Commissioner Molibeli for seeking recourse in the courts rather than merely refuse to vacate office.
The organisations called upon Thabane to ensure he upholds the rule of law and good governance by not interfering with Lesotho’s security issues.
Moeketsi said instead of expelling Commissioner Molibeli, Thabane must give him the assistance he needs in investigating the murder of his wife.

“The police should also investigate other cases including police brutality,” Moeketsi said.
Moeketsi said inviting the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was a good idea.
Moeketsi said they have asked a meeting with the coalition government partners to discuss these matters.

Nkheli Liphoto

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