Attack on Metsing driven by envy
IT’S still a long road before normalcy returns to the blighted relationship between our once venerable Lesotho defence Force (LDF) and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS). But the steps taken so far by acting Police Commissioner Masupha Masupha and acting LDF Commander Major General Khoantle Motšomotšo are deeply encouraging. We can only encourage these two seemingly level-headed gentlemen to keep doing more. The responsibility of building bridges to foster enduring cooperation between these two vital arms of state security now rests on their shoulders.
But their success depends on how much they can rally the rank and file in their security segments behind their efforts. The idea to convene last week’s peace march was a noble one. So is the decision by Major General Motšomotšo to return to the LMPS weapons seized by the LDF during the latter’s vile 30 august 2014 raids on several police stations around Maseru.
Many police officers boycotted the peace march because they are still distrustful of their LDF counterparts. Many don’t believe the soldiers are sincere in their efforts after the abhorrent ordeal they put the LMPS through. It is overcoming this discomfort and distrust among the rank and file members of both the police and army that is ultimately critical. It goes without saying that the LDF bears the biggest responsibility of ensuring the restoration of trust between its soldiers and the police. It’s the LDF that is responsible for all the despicable actions that plunged this Kingdom into crisis. all because their then commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli could not tolerate his legal and legitimate dismissal from his post.
Kamoli’s absence from the country provides an opportunity to reverse his unfortunate legacy. This of course will require much more than a peace march and the return of weapons. The crux lies in how Masupha and Motšomotšo are, in the absence of Kamoli, able to mobilise and conscientize their officers in police and military discipline. Unless there is a clear and definite understanding by serving officers that discipline is the essence of their craft. and that they owe their allegiance to the State and its citizens, and not to the whims and caprices of whoever is at their command or to feuding politicians, then the stalemate between the two security segments will never be truly expunged. The officers will never fully discharge their professional roles.
It’s so deeply unacceptable that the police and army jettison their responsibilities to ensure the security of the state in favour of taking sides with political formations. If officers want to join politics, they must relinquish their uniforms first. That the army and police force of any nation go to war between themselves, to the prejudice of the very state they are supposed to protect, is unprecedented in the civilized world. Which is why Lesotho has become a laughing stock of the world and nobody in the wider world, except our immediate giant neighbour, which cannot afford to see chaos here, is taking us seriously. In fact, we have been a butt of jokes from newspaper commentators mocking us for hitting the news headlines only over aids and coups.
any self-respecting nation want to be known for quality social progress in achieving solid economic fundamentals and fostering better lives for its citizens. every self-respecting nation wants to be in the news for innovations that change the world for the better. Mention Germany and the Mercedes Benz and BMW brands immediately spring to mind. Mention South Korea and Samsung, LG, daewoo and other high notch innovations spring to mind. Mention america and the name Ford is the first to conjure up.
But what comes to a foreigner’s mind when Lesotho is mentioned. Nothing. It’s bad enough to become prominent for only having one of the highest HIV prevalence rates. But it’s tragic to get in the news because the police and army of the country are persistently feuding. It is the stuff of stone age nations. We don’t need that. The LDF should exemplify more good faith by surrendering all the remaining seized weapons to the LMPS, not least to enable the police to discharge their duties. The LDF must also institute an internal inquiry and courts martial soldiers responsible for the mayhem of august 30 and other incidents thereafter.
Those implicated in the bombings of residences of Police Commissioner Khothatso Tšooana and the wife of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, Liabiloe ‘Maisaiah Thabane, must be handed over for investigations and prosecuted if they have a case to answer.
doing otherwise and letting all Ldf-inspired incidences go unpunished, despite the current attempts at bridge-building, will foster impunity and set a bad precedent for the future. In any civilized nation, no one should be above the law and every citizen must be held responsible for their actions. I read with great interest an article titled “Lesotho is slowly sliding into anarchy” that appears in your december 11-17 issue, and written by Utloang Kajeno .
Indeed I have also consulted the dictionary to decipher the meaning of “anarchy” and have come close to the answer you got.
But then I remembered that even as people seek to get the meaning of words the real test of words may now be “the science of meaning”-a course of study that goes much deeper than the mere dictionary meaning.
I do not have an intention to go into that area especially since I wish to hasten to get the “meaning” behind your article.
Is Lesotho really on the brink of “anarchy” or this is a situation that exists in the minds of some eminent intellectuals who pass time by writing and enjoying the sound of their “hollow” words?
Is Lesotho not much bigger than Maseru or even the Lesotho we so deeply love and so fervently protect against the so-called usurpers of power much bigger than the Lesotho of our newspaper?
For indeed if Lesotho was as you say “slowly sliding into anarchy” the first signs would be noticeable NOT in Maseru but all over the country where ordinary Basotho carry on with the burden of survival in a country so badly governed that foreign dignitaries have to literally “camp” at the Palace to report about the misdemeanour of those in government and HOW they have been called to order-and mind you those called to order are NOT in the Lcd-especially Hon Mothetjoa Metsing MP.
How then you choose to cloak him with this huge garment as the architect of rot at the core of governance, I fail to comprehend.
But maybe like the majority of people who cannot face the real ghosts of their life, we want to put blame where it does not belong.
We hear talk of “bringing judges, prosecutors and other judicial officers into disrespect”-or perhaps disrepute as commonly stated and you want to place all this at the doorstep of Hon Metsing!
Were you probably in europe when the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho declared that no court in Le- sotho will touch the case of ‘M’e Liabiloe ramoholi’s husband who demanded compensation from the Prime Minister for loss of affection?
What did you say about that? and has that case ever seen the light of day? Were you in one of your other overseas trips(as a busy-body who I guess has to be all over the globe) when supporters of the same Prime Minister evicted Basotho caterers from hospitals countrywide because it was time to place the “yellow” ones in the same jobs contrary to the results of the tender process?
The Principal Secretary for Health has more than four court orders all of which he has ignored with characteristic nonchalance-and you do not see “Judges, prosecutors and other judicial officers” being brought into disrepute?
The Prime Minister has lodged a case of divorce in the High Court and he does not turn up for the hearing because of “security concerns” — this again does not reduce our Judiciary into a mockery!
The integrity and professionalism of the Judiciary has been torn to tatters by none other than the Head of His Majesty’s government but perhaps you are so blinded by love and devotion for him that you do not see these things happen before the eyes of all Basotho and the whole Sadc community.
But even these utterances from that high office have NOT led to anarchy in the Kingdom of Lesotho-unless as I indicated you would wish to further explore the “science of meaning” in order to make sense of the things you say have been uttered by Hon Metsing which as you say have caused Lesotho to slide into anarchy.
You have recently arrived from your overseas journey(i believe) if you think Lesotho is tottering on the brink of anarchy just because you think you heard certain utterances from Hon Metsing.
It will take more than any utterance to take Lesotho into anarchy-those who know Lesotho better will attest to this. even 1998 failed to take Lesotho to the brink of anarchy-if we are in agreement on the dictionary meaning of the word.
You claim that the DPM uttered words that “in effect eroded the rule of Law and judicial independence”-and I am sure you do not know what the rule of Law is that so easily succumbs to utterances that you have conveniently forgotten to specify.
Or could it just be that such utterances only exist in your fertile imagination(otherwise why do you not take the reading public into your confidence and say what they are?)
If the utterances from the Number One in Government have failed to have a ripple effect on all levels of government including his public instructions given to members of the Police Force to arrest certain people just because on a particular day such people fell out of the PM’S fancy-and these failed to have that “domino” effect on all levels of government I don’t see how words from Hon Metsing would have such effect!
People like you have watched spellbound as senior public officers were forcibly removed from their offices per instruction of the PM and you have not sensed the dawn of anarchy.