Con­sul­ta­tion key in solv­ing famo de­ba­cle

Lesotho Times - - Leader -

ELSE­WHERE in this edi­tion, gov­ern­ment has fi­nally in­ter­vened in the bloody turf war be­tween Famo mu­si­cians. This was af­ter five peo­ple were gunned down last week in the lat­est in­ci­dent of a feud which has claimed over 20 lives since 2009.

The in­ter­ven­tion is long over­due given that count­less lives have al­ready been lost in the sense­less vi­o­lence meted out by the ri­val gangs. What is worse is that in­no­cent by­standers and as­so­ci­ates of the in­tended tar­gets are caught in the cross­fire of the melee.

This vi­o­lence must be brought to an end and we sup­port all ini­tia­tives to make that a re­al­ity. We are cer­tainly averse to the gov­ern­ment ban­ning any form of ex­pres­sion be­cause it sets a bad prece­dent. How­ever, there is clearly a need for a mech­a­nism by which hate speech and in­tol­er­ance are sieved and reg­u­lated be­fore they reach im­pres­sion­able ears.

In­deed the caus­tic lan­guage that fea­tures promi­nently in some of the songs has done enough dam­age and can­not con­tinue to be dis­sem­i­nated. Cul­ture can never be a vi­able ex­cuse for ped­dling hate and prej­u­dice.

Ul­ti­mately, Tourism, En­vi­ron­ment and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Likeleli Tam­pane has struck the right note by tak­ing a con­sul­ta­tive ap­proach to deal­ing with the mat­ter. In for­mu­lat­ing a long term so­lu­tion to this peren­nial prob­lem, there is need for the in­put of the Famo artists them­selves, civil so­ci­ety and gov­ern­ment.

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