Two exiled agents back home

Two exiled agents back home

MASERU – TWO senior security agents who skipped the country in August 2017 and March 2018 returned home yesterday.
They are police procurement officer, Superintendent Lebohang Setsomi and Assistant Superintendent Ramahetlane Bereng from the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS).
Their return is as a direct result of a deal struck between Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Mothetjoa Metsing.

Thabane is facing a motion of no-confidence in Parliament and has allegedly sought Metsing’s support to dodge the bullet.
In return for that favour, Metsing is said to have bargained hard to secure the safe return of the exiled security agents.
He has also demanded the release of security agents who have been languishing in prison over the last two years.

Metsing has also demanded the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU).
Yesterday, the government said the two are the first batch of exiled agents who will return home. They were welcomed home by the Minister of Police Prince Maliehe.
Superintendent Setsomi and Assistant Superintendent Bereng fled the country claiming their lives were in danger as police investigations closed in.
Maliehe told a press conference yesterday that he spent eight months trying to find out what wrong they had done “and I found none”.
“And we did those investigations together with the police,” Maliehe said.

He said after their investigations they resolved that the two should come back home.
“They are both clean,” he said.
Maliehe said he does not know if the men will go back to their jobs adding that the government will map the way forward.
He also said there were no plans to provide the two with any security.

But the police have been instructed to ensure that they are safe in the country.
Senior Superintendent Setsomi ran away in August 2017 claiming that his life was in danger.
He said he believed he was being targeted after he was accused of being instrumental in the controversial promotion of 30 police officers after the June 3, 2017 snap election.

Senior Superintendent Setsomi is one of the police officers who were promoted.
He was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police from Senior Superintendent.
He worked in the procurement unit of the police.

All those who were promoted have since been demoted back to their original ranks, while some have been transferred to other departments.
As for Assistant Superintendent Bereng, he fled the country after he was summoned by the police over a gazette that was leaked from the Government Printers.
Maliehe said he worked hand-in-hand with Metsing to bring the two officers back.

Former Commissioner of Police Molahlehi Letsoepa and former National Security Service (NSS) Director Colonel Tumo Lekhooa are still holed up in South Africa.
Maliehe reiterated that he will not hide the fact that he worked hand-in-hand with Metsing for the past two weeks to bring the exiled agents back home.
He said they also could not hide that politicians often drag some public servants into politics forcing some to flee the country when there is a change of government.
“So when the government changes people will have to flee,” Maliehe said.

He also pleaded with both men to go and teach others that being affiliated to political parties is not healthy.
Maliehe said those still in exile will have to be investigated too and if found to have committed crimes when they will re-enter the country they will face the courts of law.
Talking about Commissioner Letsoepa, he said “he is still a suspect and his matters will be addressed as such”.

Senior Superintendent Setsomi said he had mixed feelings about his return.
“I lost my brother two days ago. I do not have much to say,” he said.
Assistant Superintendent Bereng said he is glad that he is back in Lesotho and he thanked all those who took part in ensuring their return.
“We are citizens of this country and it was not good to leave home,” Assistant Superintendent Bereng said.
“We have families and children here,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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