Peace walk to hon­our Ma­hao

Lesotho Times - - News - Mot­samai Mokotjo

CIVIC or­gan­i­sa­tion, Ac­tion for Peace and Sol­i­dar­ity (APS), will on Satur­day hold its in­au­gu­ral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao Peace Walk from Koal­a­bata to Mokema.

Ac­cord­ing to APS mem­ber, Mochekoane Mohlepere, the walk was meant to cel­e­brate the ideals Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Ma­hao stood for.

The slain former Le­sotho Defence Force (LDF) com­man­der (pic­tured) was shot dead as he left his Mokema farm on 25 June 2015 by sol­diers who had come to ar­rest him fol­low­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of be­ing part of a group of sol­diers plot­ting to over­throw the army lead­er­ship. How­ever, Lt Gen Ma­hao’s fam­ily has ac­cused the army of killing him in cold blood bas­ing on the ac­count of his neph­ews who were with him dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

Mr Mohlepere said Lt Gen Ma­hao’s “bru­tal and heart­less mur­der” in­spired the for­ma­tion of APS which has a man­date to lob- by for the re­spect and pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights as well as the up­hold­ing of the rule of law among oth­ers. He said they were guided by the ideals Lt Gen Ma­hao stood for “such as truth, hon­our and the dig­nity of hu­man­ity”.

“APS is com­mit­ted to pre­serv­ing and pro­mot­ing the mem­ory and legacy of Com­rade Maa­parankoe through, among oth­ers, an­nual lec­tures on the causes he com­mit­ted his life to such as peace­ful co-ex­is­tence, sol­i­dar­ity, hon­esty and in­tegrity in pub­lic life, dili­gence and en­ter­prise as well as self­less lead­er­ship,” he said.

Plans were also afoot, Mr Mohlepere said, to form the Maa­parankoe Ma­hao Foundation and erect a me­mo­rial shrine at the place of his tragic pass­ing.

“We came up with the idea of form­ing a foundation and, co­in­ci­den­tally, his fam­ily had the same in­ten­tion. This was af­ter we were al­lowed to co­or­di­nate his me­mo­rial ser­vice,” he said.

Mr Mohlepere

said

the

30 km Maa­parankoe Ma­hao Peace Walk would start at 6am in Koal­a­bataata where he resided and end in Mokema whereere he was born and gunned down by his LDFF col­leagues.

There was also an al­ter­na­tiveer­na­tive start­ing point for those pre­fer­ring efer­ring the shorter route of 15 km which would start at Phuthi­at­sana Bridge.

“Af­ter the walk, we will ill plant 47 trees, since that was Ltt Gen Ma­hao’s age when he died,, and raise funds to­wards the es­tab­lish­ment blish­ment of the foundation. We will also hold dis­cus­sions on Cde Ma­hao’so’s ideals and pray for peace in Le­sotho,” otho,” Mr Mohlepere said.

“The in­vi­ta­tion to par­tic­i­pate in the walk goe­ses to ev­ery Mosotho irre- spec­tive of po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion. Those who knew Lt Gen Ma­hao know that he did not dis­crim­i­nate against any­one.” Con­tacted for com­ment,com­men the late army chief’s sis­ter,sis­ter Ntšepase Ma­hao, said the wa walk from Koal­a­bata to Moke­maMokem was apt be­cause it was a routero Lt Gen Ma­hao would reg reg­u­larly take on foot. She said herh brother’s ideals would live on in the young peo­ple whowh are ea­ger to take coun­try for­ward.fo

“Maa­parankoe“Maap wanted the youth to be in­de­pen­dent and en­gage in peace-build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, em em­pow­er­ment pro­grammes­gra and poverty al­le­vi­a­tion,” she said, adding, that the or­gan­is­ers of the walk had the Ma­hao fam­ily’s bless­ings and they were work­ing to­gether.

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