Row over new police structure
NATIONAL Assembly Deputy Speaker Lekhetho Rakuoane on Tuesday this week shot down a motion seeking to block a report which recommended the approval of new police structures by Parliament, citing proper procedure was not followed.
The motion was being presented by Makhaleng Constituency legislator, Mootsi Lehata, in an attempt to reject a report by the Portfolio Committee on the Prime Minister’s Ministries and Departments, Governance, Foreign Relations and Information Cluster.
In the report, the Committee recommended that Parliament endorses the Lesotho Mount- ed Police Service (Administration) (Amendment) Regulations of 2014, which gave rise to the organisation’s new structure with three new ranks — Lance Sergeant, Sub-inspector and Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police — from the previous nine posts.
The regulations were last month tabled before Parliament by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Pitso Maisa.
According to the report, the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (Administration) (Amendment) Regulations of 2014, “are made pursuant to the Police Service Act of 1998 and the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (Administration) Regulations of 2003. These regulations are aimed at revising the structure of administration in the Ministry of Police and Public Safety.”
The report showed that during the transition from military-style ranks to the current rank police structure, “a number of ranks were erroneously abolished, leaving the police service without compromise on matters of supervision and coordination within the service itself.
“It was indicated the regulations will put the police service in a better position to function effectively and efficiently, and to reduce expenses on civil claims and promote accountability.”
The regulations, the report indicated, called for additional ranks, “therefore have some financial implications which are already budgeted for.”
The Committee, which is chaired by Popular Front for Democracy’s (PFD) Thabang Kholumo, therefore indicated in the report that it “compliments the initiative to reinstate the ranks and applauds the ministry’s initiative to improve supervision on the workforce.”
The Committee, however, noted it was concerned about the new structure “which appears to have some rigid patterns, hindering mobility up the ranks,” and recommended that regulations be allowed by Parliament.
But Mr Lehata of the main opposition Democratic Congress (DC), who ironically, also happens to be part of the same Committee that produced the report, insisted Advocate Rakuoane should suspend Parliament so that it later discusses his “notice of motion disallowance” against the report.
Though Mr Lehata was not immediately available when the Lesotho Times sought his comment yesterday, he was quoted in the Hansard as saying: “Honourable Deputy Speaker, with your authority I wish to request that you suspend the House. I have a notice of motion disallowance. So if this is the last day, which means we (MPS) will not have any other chance to do this, it is best that you suspend the House to pass the motion because the only chance I have is today.”
Mr Lehata was supported by other DC members, including the Leader of Opposition Monyane Moleleki, Malingoaneng MP Serialong Qoo and Lineo Molise-mabusela.
But Advocate Rakuoane dismissed Mr Lehata’s motion, noting he should have first filed notice of the motion, “within 10 days after the regulations were tabled in Parliament on 27 October 2014.”
The deputy speaker further indicated it was strange that Mr Lehata wanted Parliament to block the report from the Committee which he was party to.
National assembly deputy speaker lekhetho rakuoane