Police boss  ‘purges’ critics

Police boss ‘purges’ critics

MASERU-COMMISSIONER of Police Holomo Molibeli is allegedly purging the Lesotho Police Staff Association (Leposa)’s leaders who have been calling for his removal.

Over the past week Commissioner Molibeli has asked two senior Leposa officials to justify why they cannot be disciplined for allegedly instigating a rebellion in the police service.

Another senior official of the association was abruptly transferred.  
Inspector Moraleli Motloli, Leposa’s secretary general, received his “show cause” letter on Monday.
Last week it was Lance Sergeant Motseki, another Leposa official, who was asked to explain why she cannot be disciplined for allegedly criticising her bosses at a colleague’s funeral in Mafeteng.

The police management accuses Inspector Motloli of launching “an open rebellion” against Commissioner Molibeli.
The allegation comes from Inspector Motloli’s letter to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro on July 14.
The management accuses Inspector Motloli of asking Majoro to suspend Commissioner Molibeli for alleged abuse of power and mismanagement.
“You will further recall that you even threatened, in your letter, the Prime Minister, trying to force him to bow to your rebellious demand,” said the letter written by Superintendent Marou on the management’s behalf.

“And stated that if he fails to suspend Holomo, you will have no option but to approach the courts of law to force him to do so as you directed him.”
“You even falsely stated that there is an appalling policing environment within the Lesotho Mounted Police Service which is likely to deteriorate into chaos and compromise the already fragile national tranquility.”
“But you failed to disclose that you are out to mobilise police officers’ support on your rebellious acts against the police management which the police officers refused to buy- in your campaign.”

Superintendent Marou said Inspector Motloli cannot deny that he “maliciously” accused the commissioner of being biased in handling cases of police brutality.
In another incident that seems to show a pattern of purging, Leposa spokesman Constable Motlatsi Mofokeng has been transferred to Berea after he criticised the police bosses in the media.

Constable Mofokeng said he was however yet to report to his new station because he was not given transport to ferry his property from Maseru.
“I did not get the vehicle to transport my luggage, I do not even know where I will stay,” he said.

Although it describes itself as an association for legal purposes, Leposa operates like a trade union in fighting for the rights of police officers.
Meanwhile, Police Minister ’Mamoipone Senauane has been accused of instigating the police to use brute force in the fight against crime.
While addressing a meeting in St Monica’s Senauane appeared to be encouraging the police to use force.

She said “ha li ba je”, a statement that is usually followed by “li ba siee monoana o motona oa leoto”.
Put together, the statement means “let them devour them and leave only the hallux”.

The adage paints a picture of a pack of vicious hyenas, set on human enemies in defence of their human owner, devouring them and leaving their big toes for identification by their relatives.
She made the remark while she was part of the minister’s entourage to a village where a woman was brutally murdered.
Some people said Senaunane was no different from former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who openly incited the police to use violence against suspects.

Senauoane told thepost on Tuesday that her speech to the police was not meant to incite violence or brutality but to encourage them to fight crime.
Senauoane said her statement has been taken out of context.
 “I just meant that the police, as a team, should do their job against the team of criminals that has its own controllers,” Senauoane said.
“I was ordering the police be victorious against people who violate women’s rights during the women’s month,” she said.

“No Mosotho can deny the fact that there is a high rate of women and children abuse in the country that needs to be uprooted from the community.”

Nkheli Liphoto & Majara Molupe

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