Give the Commander a mirror

Give the Commander a mirror

AS some of our soldiers are in Mozambique, their bosses back home are busy spanking the police.
Major General Matela Matobakele called the police a bunch of incompetent clowns in uniform. He didn’t use those exact words but they amounted to the same.
“Our Commander has given us instructions to perform duties everywhere because we honestly don’t have a police force,” Major General Matela Matobakele said at a recent military parade.

“I say this with my head held high, we don’t have it (police). If we had it, you (soldiers) would not be involving yourselves with the public in this country,” he added.
Were it in another place the General would be packing his bags and saying his goodbyes.
He would be holding his head high as he pounds the streets of Maseru as a common Mosotho man. But because this is Lesotho, the land of miracles, he will probably get away with an apology for pinching the police’s ears in public.

As Muckraker writes these words some politicians are probably pleading with the General to take back his stinging words and say sorry.
The issue is not that the General’s statements about the police are false.
There is some grain of truth in his statements. Our police force is mediocre. Even creche kids have songs about it.
The trouble for the General is a little thing called hypocrisy.
He obviously hasn’t looked in the mirror in recent years. If he did, he would have noticed that the army itself is already in the Hall of Shame.
Its sullied history says so and so do recent events.

A few examples will suffice to illustrate this point. Remember how a ragtag of mercenaries once sneaked into the country’s biggest barracks, stole armoured cars and drove to the State House in a bid to topple Mccd’s government?
The same army clamouring to do the police’s work has dozens of soldiers on trial for treason, murder and attempted murder.
Yes, this one that the General says is an epitome of excellence had been hauling soldiers before the military court for the past six years.
The General is thus saying an army that cannot police its ranks can now police civilians. With what skills, moral authority and constitutional powers?

Just because we have an inane police force doesn’t mean it should be replaced by an army. Never!
There is always a danger with fighting for jobs beyond your skills and qualifications.
This week Major General Matobakele’s boss, army commander Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela, is having a pounding headache after the army was slapped with a M24.5 million lawsuit.

This, after the army allegedly tortured and killed a police constable they accused of smuggling wool in Mohale’s Hoek. His five alleged accomplices who were also tortured by the army are also demanding M2.5 million each from the army.
The total is M24 million.
Imagine if every arrest by the military costs M24 million.
The real reason for the General’s biting remarks is not that the police are incompetent. Rather, it is that the army wants to be the police because it cannot justify its existence under the current circumstances.

Without real external threats, the barracks are essentially leisure resorts for the soldiers. Eat, sleep and run a little bit. Run, eat and sleep. Sleep, and eat a lot.
You know that colleague who never seems to have anything to do from 9am to 5pm. The chap who managers keep on the payroll because he is related to the boss or some shareholder.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

Previous Agric Minister demoted
Next Thabane moves to counter Majoro

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