Row over new po­lice struc­ture

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

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

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