Ma­hao’s wife vows to fight on

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

‘Mam­phanya Ma­hao — the wife of slain for­mer army com­man­der Maa­parankoe Ma­hao — says she will “never rest” un­til she knows “the truth” be­hind her hus­band’s killing.

Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Ma­hao was gunned down in June last year in Mokema dur­ing an army op­er­a­tion to ar­rest sol­diers al­leged to be part of a plot to topple the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) com­mand.

He had been fin­gered as the rin­gleader of the al­leged mutiny, with the mil­i­tary later an­nounc­ing Lt-gen Ma­hao was shot while re­sist­ing ar­rest.

Soon af­ter the killing, prime Min­is­ter pakalitha Mo­sisili asked SADC to help es­tab­lish the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the shoot­ing, re­sult­ing in Jus­tice Mpa­phi phumaphi’s Com­mis­sion of In­quiry, which com­pleted its probe on 23 Oc­to­ber 2015.

af­ter pres­sure from the re­gional body to ac­cept and pub­li­cise Jus­tice Phumaphi’s find­ings, which it had re­fused to do cit­ing a court case chal­leng­ing the phumaphi in­quiry’s le­git­i­macy, the Le­sotho govern­ment fi­nally re­ceived the re­port dur­ing a SADC Dou­ble Troika sum­mit in Botswana this week.

The sum­mit, which had been con­vened to dis­cuss the phumaphi stale­mate, or­dered the Le­sotho govern­ment to pub­li­cise the re­port by 1 Fe­bru­ary 2016, with Ms Ma­hao yes­ter­day ex­press­ing hope that she would fi­nally know what hap­pened to her hus­band on that fate­ful af­ter­noon of 25 June 2015.

Ms Ma­hao said she went to the sum­mit to sub­mit a let­ter from her fam­ily re­quest­ing SADC to re­lease the phumaphi re­port.

“I went to Botswana to sub­mit a let­ter from the Ma­hao fam­ily re­quest­ing SADC to re­lease the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry’s re­port into the death of my hus­band,” Ms Ma­hao said.

“I am sat­is­fied with the out­come of the visit be­cause SADC ac­cepted the let­ter from the fam­ily and held some dis­cus­sions with me through the of­fice of the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary.”

asked if SADC gave her a copy of the phu- maphi re­port, Ms Ma­hao said: “no, I was not given the re­port. I was asked to be pa­tient while the govern­ment of Le­sotho is given the chance to com­ply with the di­rec­tive to pub­lish the re­port within 14 days. I will re­spect SADC pro­ce­dures and be pa­tient for the re­port to be re­leased ac­cord­ingly.

“SADC is aware that the Ma­hao fam­ily is a stake­holder in all this but for the sake of peace, we must wait for their pro­ce­dures and pro­cesses. We must wait for 14 days for govern­ment to make the re­port pub­lic and also when the fam­ily is for­mally pre­sented with the re­port.”

Ms Ma­hao also said she did not want to in­ter­fere in govern­ment is­sues re­gard­ing the re­lease of the re­port “be­cause th­ese peo­ple are un­pre­dictable”.

She con­tin­ued: “What I need is noth­ing but the truth of why and who killed my hus­band. It does not mat­ter whether govern­ment ed­its the SADC re­port or not be­cause I am de­ter­mined to get to the bot­tom of this. I will never rest un­til I get to know the truth of what hap­pened to my hus­band.”

‘Mam­phanya Ma­hao.

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