Ten rea­sons why Kamoli should be a wor­ried man

Lesotho Times - - Opinion & Analysis - Ut­loang Ka­jeno

WEEKS prior to Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli’s re­moval from Le­sotho, the coun­try was lashed by se­vere snow­storms that dev­as­tated a large part of the coun­try and de­stroyed hun­dreds of homes.

It wreaked un­told havoc. Just a day after he left th­ese shores, soft soaking rains to re­lieve the se­vere drought fell on Le­sotho.

It was as if we had in­curred the wrath of the gods. Your guess is as good as mine. How­ever, my sin­cere com­mis­er­a­tions to those who suf­fered dam­age to prop­erty and crops.

The Sun­day Ex­press, Novem­ber 23, story en­ti­tled “Kamoli de­manded as­sur­ances be­fore de­par­ture,” cries out for a re­sponse.

Ba­sotho Na­tional Party leader and Sports Min­is­ter Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane re­port­edly said in the ar­ti­cle:

“We met with Mr Ramaphosa on Thurs­day in Pre­to­ria and he told us that dur­ing a meet­ing he had with Kamoli on Tues­day in Maseru, the man de­manded that his leave be gazetted as an in­di­ca­tion that he would get his job back upon his re­turn to Le­sotho, be as­sured that he would not be ar­rested while in tran­sit or when he ar­rived at his des­ti­na­tion, and be al­lowed to travel with his per­sonal body­guards.”

First, th­ese sen­ti­ments from Lt Gen Kamoli show in no un­cer­tain terms that con­trary to his re­peated pub­lic ut­ter­ances and that of his congress bri­gade al­lies, he knew quite well that the gazette re­leav­ing him of his du­ties as com­man­der of the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) was law­ful.

How else would he de­mand as­sur­ances? I pity him be­cause the man gen­uinely but er­ro­neously be­lieves the job of the com­mand of LDF is his for life.

He re­minds me, if you hu­mour my com­par­i­son, if only to make my point clear – of the late Muam­mar-el-Gaddaffi of Libya and Sad­dam Hus­sein of Iraq (may their souls rest in peace).

Clearly he is still un­der the il­lu­sion the LDF com­mand is still his to lose. This is the sort of de­men­tia that the afore­men­tioned two despots had, which in­ci­den­tally has also af­flicted Lt Gen Kamoli.

Sec­ond, he de­manded that he not be ar­rested while in tran­sit or upon ar­rival at his des­ti­na­tion.

This is clearly be­cause his iron-grip con­trol of the LDF, a na­tional in­sti­tu­tion meant to serve ev­ery Mosotho and pro­tect the Con­sti­tu­tion and ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty of Le­sotho, had been loos­ened, un­fairly ac­cord­ing to him.

Lt Gen Kamoli does not need to be a trained lawyer to know he faces crim­i­nal charges as it is clear to ev­ery­one that, bar­ring a mir­a­cle, he will face the mu­sic con­cern­ing the at­tacks on three Maseru homes as well as the re­gret­table events of 30th Au­gust.

That he was com­pelled to leave his coun­try of birth un­der a cloud of un­prece­dented con­tro­versy must be giv­ing him sleep­less nights.

That he is no longer part of the LDF fur­ni­ture must also dis­con­cert him. That he no longer has a bevy of heav­ily-armed sol­diers flank­ing him around the clock to in­tim­i­date those he per­ceives to be his en­e­mies can only bring him great worry.

Third, Lt Gen Kamoli de­manded to travel dur­ing his en­tire ban­ish­ment with his full en­tourage of per­sonal body­guards. When I learned of that, I laughed my lungs out owing to its pre­pos­ter­ous­ness.

The man has de­nied the lead­er­ship of his coun­try and the en­tire pop­u­lace, in­clud­ing all sec­tors of law en­force­ment, peace­ful sleep dur­ing the night and the en­tire na­tion is on a knife-edge for the past eleven months, yet he de­mands the same na­tion to bankroll his en­forced so­journ in a for­eign coun­try to­gether with his al­leged part­ners in crime.

He earnestly be­lieves this na­tion owes him grat­i­tude for the prob­lems he has brought. He earnestly be­lieves he has been wronged to­gether with his en­tourage by this na­tion. How more pre­pos­ter­ous can one be?

Read­ers will re­mem­ber the late Tarig Aziz, prime min­is­ter dur­ing Sad­dam Hus­sein’s reign. On live tele­vi­sion, as the Amer­i­can tanks were rum­bling a few hun­dred me­tres within his earshot, he as­sured the world­wide view­er­ship they were still in con­trol. He claimed there were no en­emy tanks on their own doorstep.

In like man­ner, Lt Gen Kamoli is be­ing delu­sional. This is not an at­tribute unique to him. He never, in his wildest nightmares, ever thought he could re­lin­quish his iron grip-like con­trol of the LDF. He was treat­ing the na­tional in­sti­tu­tion like his fief­dom.

Fur­ther­more, he er­ro­neously be­lieves by hav­ing his body­guards in tow wher­ever he goes his se­cu­rity will not be breached nor will he ever be ar­rested.

The fired gen gen­eral knows in the in­ner re­cesses of his h heart that he is likely to ar­rested wher wher­ever he goes.

He knows that he faces a litany of charges both against the state, pub­lic peace and pri­vatepriva in­di­vid­u­als.

He knows it is not al­ways easy to get away scot-free after what he did.

The world is lit­tered with many ex­am­ples of peo­plepeo like him who ter­rorised their own in­no­centinn and vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, for no ap ap­par­ent rea­son at all ex­cept sheer bru­tal­ity.bru­tali To give morem in­sight on the mag­ni­tude of chargescha against Lt Gen Kamoli, I will com­pileco pos­si­ble counts that might be p pre­ferred against him in the event he is not granted im­mu­nity or amnesty for his trans­gres­sions.

Be­cause he stayed longer than he was sup­posed to in his post, I can count more than 10 charges that could pos­si­bly be lev­elled against him.

In my view, the charges listed be­low that can be pre­ferred against Lt Gen Kamoli in the event he is charged:

1. Trea­son — in that he, owing al­le­giance to the king­dom of Le­sotho, and be­ing a cit­i­zen of Le­sotho, un­law­fully did acts with the in­ten­tion of over­throw­ing or co­erc­ing the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho.

2. Sedition — He, to­gether with oth­ers, came to­gether in an un­law­ful gath­er­ing with the in­ten­tion of de­fy­ing or sub­vert­ing the au­thor­ity of the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho but with­out the in­ten­tion of over­throw­ing or co­erc­ing it.

3. Of­fences against the Royal Fam­ily — in that he know­ingly com­mit­ted acts cal­cu­lated to vi­o­late the dig­nity or in­jure the rep­u­ta­tion of the Royal Fam­ily.

4. Breach of the Peace — in that he is the pub­lic place, uses ob­scene, abu­sive threat­en­ing or in­sult­ing words or be­hav­iour or oth­er­wise con­ducts him­self with in­tent to pro­voke a breach of the peace or in such a man­ner that a breach of the peace is com­mit­ted or likely to be com­mit­ted.

5. Pro­vok­ing pub­lic vi­o­lence — in that he acted or con­ducted him­self in such a man­ner or spoke words from which there is a real like­li­hood that the nat­u­ral and prob­a­ble con- se­quence of his act, con­duct or speech un­der the cir­cum­stances led to the com­mis­sion of pub­lic cir­cum­stances led to the com­mis­sion of pub­lic vi­o­lence by mem­bers of the pub­lic gen­er­ally and by per­sons whose pres­ence the con­duct act is ad­dressed.

6. Ob­struc­tion of the course of jus­tice and of­fi­cially con­sti­tuted pub­lic en­quiries — in that he made state­ments and per­formed acts with the in­ten­tion of de­feat­ing or in­ter­fer­ing with the course of jus­tice.

7. Har­bour­ing ter­ror­ists — in that he har­boured and con­cealed or caused to be har­boured any per­son he knew to have com­mit­ted or to have been con­victed of an act of ter­ror­ism and against whom a war­rant of ar­rest for such an act had been is­sued.

8. Ob­struc­tion of ter­ror­ist in­ves­ti­ga­tion — in that he in­ter­fered with ma­te­rial which is likely to be rel­e­vant to a ter­ror­ist in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

9. In­for­ma­tion about acts of ter­ror­ism — in that he had in­for­ma­tion he knows, or be­lieves might be of ma­te­rial as­sis­tance in pre­vent­ing the com­mis­sion by another of an act ter­ror­ism.

10. Com­mis­sioner of var­i­ous of­fences un­der the De­fence Force Act 2005. There, cou­pled to­gether with the vi­o­la­tion of var­i­ous se­cu­rity leg­is­la­tion are too many to enu­mer­ate here.

They ob­vi­ously give Lt. Gen. Kamoli sleep­less nights with­out his iron ring of se­cu­rity per­son­nel.

When all is said and done, and for­tu­itously for Lt Gen Kamoli, if he is ever charged, he shall en­joy all the rights en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion un­der Sec­tion 12, Right to a fair trial, and so on. Sub­sec­tion (1) if a per­son is charged with a crim­i­nal of­fence, then, un­less the charge is with­drawn, the case shall be af­forded a fair hear­ing within a rea­son­able time by an in­de­pen­dent and im­par­tial court es­tab­lished by law.

Iron­i­cally, th­ese are all the rights that he re­fused his vic­tims and the na­tion dur­ing his al­leged reign of ter­ror.


Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli

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