Govt cracks down on famo

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Con­tact us:

Tourism, En­vi­ron­ment and Cul­ture min­is­ter Likeleli Tam­pane says famo should be tem­po­rar­ily banned from all ra­dio sta­tions while gov­ern­ment seeks a long-last­ing so­lu­tion to the killings trig­gered by this tra­di­tional mu­sic genre.

ms Tam­pane also says her min­istry is con­sid­er­ing pe­ti­tion­ing stu­dios to tem­po­rar­ily stop record­ing famo mu­sic and has fur­ther ap­pealed to Ba­sotho to shun all famo-re­lated re­galia un­til a last­ing so­lu­tion is found to the vi­o­lence which has claimed dozens of lives since 2009.

The min­is­ter’s an­tic­i­pated crack­down comes hard on the heels of last week’s five famo-re­lated mur­ders in maseru which left the mu­sic industry once again count­ing the cost of the sense­less vi­o­lence by ri­val gangs.

The first to die was a 35-year-old Tha­bana-morena, who was found with gun­shot wounds in Thet­sane on the morn­ing of 4 oc­to­ber. it is sus­pected he was killed on his way from a famo mu­sic fes­ti­val at AME Hall.

A day later, Bon­gani Phafoli (19), his friend Bakoena mo­hapi (16), and famo artistes Le­pe­le­sana and Botlenyana, were gunned down dur­ing a brief meet­ing near me­mo­rial Hall in sea-point.

Phafoli was step­son to famo pro­ducer, Jus­tice mpitsa, who sur­vived the shoot­ing along­side an­other famo artist.

min­is­ter Tam­pane vis­ited the fam­i­lies of the de­ceased teenagers in Ha Tšosane on mon­day to pay her con­do­lences. Af­ter ad­dress­ing the Phafoli fam­ily, ms Tam­pane told the Le­sotho Times that dras­tic ac­tion needed to be taken to end the killings be­lieved to be a re­sult of the mu­sic’s lyrics which ad­vo­cate in­tol­er­ance and in­sult ri­val artists.

Famo is dom­i­nated by two mafeteng-linked gangs nick­named Terene and Seakhi, which are iden­ti­fied by the colours of their blan­kets. The two gangs have been fight­ing for supremacy over the years, but the turf war has since es­ca­lated to war­rant gov­ern­ment’s in­ter­ven­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to ms Tam­pane, a four-mem­ber min­is­te­rial task-team had now been es­tab­lished to in­ves­ti­gate the rea­sons be­hind the killings, while also sug­gest­ing tem­po­rary mea­sures to en­sure the sit­u­a­tion does not get com­pletely out of hand.

“i have been in­structed by the prime min- is­ter and his deputy to visit all the be­reaved fam­i­lies and make sure there is a clear work­ing plan to end th­ese famo-re­lated killings,” ms Tam­pane told the Le­sotho Times.

“We have since es­tab­lished a sub-com­mit­tee made up of my­self, Po­lice min­is­ter monyane moleleki, Communications, sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy min­is­ter Khotso Let­satsi, as well as Law, Con­sti­tu­tional Af­fairs and Hu­man rights min­is­ter mot­la­len­toa Let­sosa to come up with this plan of ac­tion.”

ms Tam­pane fur­ther said her min­istry had en­gaged the Trans­for­ma­tion re­source Cen­tre (TRC) to help man­age the sit­u­a­tion due to the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ex­per­tise in con­flict-res­o­lu­tion.

“Af­ter re­al­is­ing that th­ese killings are the re­sult of famo’s of­fen­sive lyrics, we have also taken a de­ci­sion to tem­po­rar­ily ban the mu­sic from our na­tional ra­dio sta­tions. We are also mak­ing ar­range­ments to en­gage famo artists and dis­cuss their mu­sic and the vi­o­lence em­a­nat­ing from it,” ms Tam­pane said.

How­ever, Terene leader, mosotho Chakela has lashed out at the min­is­ter for her state­ments, in­sist­ing mu­sic is not the rea­son be- hind the killings.

“in­stead of deal­ing with the real is­sue here, the min­is­ter goes to the me­dia and says she is go­ing to ban mu­sic and blan­kets, yet that’s not the so­lu­tion to th­ese killings,” mr Chakela said.

“she has failed the very first test to­wards find­ing a so­lu­tion to this prob­lem. she should have started by unit­ing Terene and Seakhi artists and bring­ing us into one room for dis­cus­sion so that we find com­mon ground.

“Famo is not gospel mu­sic, and peo­ple should not ex­pect us to pro­duce those kinds of songs. The min­is­ter talks about ban­ning our blan­kets, but this dress has noth­ing to do with the killings.

“Her so-called so­lu­tions are not only go­ing to kill the famo industry but also our cul­ture be­cause this mu­sic is part of Ba­sotho tra­di­tions.”

Seakhi leader Bereng ‘Lekase’ ma­joro was not read­ily avail­able for com­ment on the min­is­ter’s in­ten­tions.

mean­while, Le­sotho mu­sic rights As­so­ci­a­tion pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Tšepang ‘NyakaNyaka’ Makakole, has con­demned the min­is­ter’s in­ten­tions as ill-ad­vised.

“Who­ever ad­vised the min­is­ter on th­ese de­ci­sions mis­led her be­cause they will not end the vi­o­lence, but rather at­tract un­wanted at­ten­tion to­wards the mu­sic,” mr makakole said.

“in ad­di­tion, such moves would have dire financial con­se­quences not only for artists but other peo­ple who earn a liv­ing through this mu­sic. Here i am talk­ing about pro­duc­ers, stu­dio em­ploy­ees, pro­mot­ers, ven­dors and their fam­i­lies. All th­ese peo­ple de­pend on the suc­cess of famo mu­sic, and this will not be pos­si­ble should the min­is­ter go ahead and ef­fect th­ese mea­sures she is propos­ing.”

mr makakole fur­ther said ban­ning famo and its re­lated at­tire was avoid­ing the real is­sue.

“The first step should be deal­ing di­rectly with peo­ple be­hind th­ese killings. The po­lice know th­ese peo­ple, and the min­is­ter can­not ex­pect stu­dios mak­ing a min­i­mum of M5000 per record­ing to turn away th­ese famo mu­si­cians. And if she does suc­ceed, they will sim­ply record the mu­sic in south Africa,” he warned.

Asked what the min­is­ter could do to bring or­der to the industry and end the turf war be­tween Seakhi and Terene, mr makakole said the artists should be called for dis­cus­sion as a group and then be part of what­ever plan gov­ern­ment even­tu­ally puts in place to end the killings.

“The past gov­ern­ment led by Ntate Tha­bane ap­proached us and we rec­om­mended pos­si­ble so­lu­tions but un­for­tu­nately, they were never im­ple­mented.

“We were hop­ing the min­is­ter would ap­proach us and hear our rec­om­men­da­tions be­fore go­ing pub­lic about her in­ten­tions,” mr makakole said.

on his part, po­lice spokesper­son, Clif­ford molefe told the Le­sotho Times that mem­bers of the Po­lice spe­cial op­er­a­tions unit had been de­ployed at the maseru Bus stop area — a crime hotspot — in a bid to curb such killings.

“The po­lice will con­duct ran­dom searches and seize dan­ger­ous weapons from the pub­lic.

“The po­lice would also want to warn any­one com­mit­ting crime to stop do­ing so im­me­di­ately,” se­nior in­spec­tor molefe.

He how­ever, said no one had been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the lat­est famo-re­lated killings.

“Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions are still con­tin­u­ing and we ap­peal to any­one with in­for­ma­tion re­lated to the killings to bring it to the at­ten­tion of the po­lice,” se­nior in­spec­tor molefe said.

Min­is­ter of tourism Likeleli tam­pane (left) ad­dresses mem­bers of the be­reaved Phafoli fam­ily.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.