Po­lice pro­mo­tions chal­lenged

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Tefo Tefo

THE Le­sotho Po­lice Staff As­so­ci­a­tion (LEPOSA) yes­ter­day day filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion ion chal­leng­ing the pro­mo­tions of six po­lice of­fi­cers with the po­lice body ody ac­cus­ing the po­lice au­thor­i­ties of breach­ing the law.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Holomo mo Moli­beli (pic­tured) on 12 Jan­uary ary 2018 pro­moted six po­lice of­fi­cers ers with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, fol­low- wing the an­nounce­ment of six va­cant po­si­tions within the Le­sotho ho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS) ) last De­cem­ber.

The six of­fi­cers who were pro- - moted are In­spec­tor Baleme e Ed­win Le­ba­joa who is now an As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner, Se­nior In­spec­tor Lefu Ralethoko who was el­e­vated to the Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent while Po­lice Spokesper­son, In­spec­tor Mpiti Mopeli and Butha-buthe e Po­lice Se­nior In­spec­tor, Thato o Ra­marikhoane, are now Su­perin- nten­dents.

In­spec­tors, Mohlapiso Mohlapi- piso and Boi­puso Monne were pro- ro­moted to the rank of Se­nior In- nspec­tor.

How­ever, LEPOSA al­leges the said pro­mo­tions were ex­e­cuted ted con­trary to the laws gov­ern­ing the LMPS.

In its court pa­pers, LEPOSA calls upon the re­spon­dents to ex­plain why “the pro­mo­tions an­nounced on 12 Jan­uary 2018, shall not be de­clared null, void and of no le­gal force and ef­fect in law for vi­o­lat­ing pro­vi­sions of Sec­tion 8(1) read with 8(2) of the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice Act No. 7 of 1998.”

The po­lice as­so­ci­a­tion also wants the High Court to nul­lify the said pro­mo­tions for not be­ing com­pli­ant with the pro­vi­sions of po­lice reg­u­la­tions as amended in 2003.

Listed as the re­spon­dents are the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Mr Moli­beli, Staff Of­fi­cer to Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, LMPS Hu­man Re­sources Of­fi­cer, the six pro­moted of­fi­cers and the At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

Sup­port­ing the as­so­ci­a­tion’s claim, LEPOSA’S se sec­re­tary gen­eral, Mo­raleli Mot­loli made m an af­fi­davit giv­ing rise to the th po­lice body’s com­plaint. “On 11 De­cem­ber De­cembe 2017, a Memo published by the 1st re­spon­dent (Mr Moli­beli) an­nounced ann six va­can­cies in the Le­sotho Le Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice. “The va­can­cies were w in the ranks of As­sis­tant Comm Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent, Su­per Su­per­in­ten­dent and Se­nior In­spec­tor,” he states. He al­leges the can­di­dates c were only given seven days to ap­ply, adding the mem memo that in­vited ap­pli­ca­tions con­tained con spec­i­fi­ca­tions that w were couched in gen­eral terms “with a view to evade the le le­gal obli­ga­tions placed upon the 1st re­spon­dent to base prom mo­tions in the LMP LMPS on merit as env en­vis­aged by Reg­u­lat ula­tion 7(2) of the Leso Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (A (Ad­min­is­tra­tion) Re Reg­u­la­tions 2003 as amended.” a He adds: “Im­por­tant and ver­i­fi­able con­sid con­sid­er­a­tions such as train­ing trai and ed­u­ca­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tions were de­lib­er­ately left out in the job spec­i­fi­ca­tion even for the se­nior po­si­tions such as the As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice.” Se­nior In­spec­tor Mot­loli ar­gues the merit based sys­tem re­quires com­pet­i­tive stages such as short­list­ing and in­ter­view­ing of can­di­dates. “In this par­tic­u­lar in­stance, there were no com­pet­i­tive stages fol­lowed af­ter the ad­ver­tise­ment. In­stead, there has been star­tling se­crecy which clearly of­fends the dic­tates of fair com­pe­ti­tion.

“In terms of the law, there should be a Po­lice Ap­point­ments and Pro­mo­tion Board which pre­sides over all the stages of pro­mo­tion and ap­point­ment of po­lice of­fi­cers,” he charged.

He fur­ther said the board should com­prise the po­lice com­mis­sioner, a per­son nom­i­nated by the Min­is­ter of Po­lice and a per­son nom­i­nated by the Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Ser­vice.

How­ever, he al­leges there was never such a board to deal with the

In this par­tic­u­lar in­stance, there were no com­pet­i­tive stages fol­lowed af­ter the ad­ver­tise­ment. In­stead, there has been star­tling se­crecy which clearly of­fends the dic­tates of fair com­pe­ti­tion.

pro­mo­tion of the said six po­lice of­fi­cers.

“On the 12 Jan­uary 2018, the 2nd re­spon­dent (Staff Of­fi­cer to Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice), pur­port­edly on be­half of 1st re­spon­dent, an­nounced the pro­mo­tion of six of­fi­cers to the ranks that were ini­tially ad­ver­tised.

“The anom­aly with these pro­mo­tions is that they were not done by the board, and they were not based on any es­tab­lished cri­te­ria of pro­mo­tions con­trary to the pro­vi­sions of Reg­u­la­tion (7) of the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (Ad­min­is­tra­tion) Reg­u­la­tions 2003 as amended,” he stated.

He fur­ther ac­cuses the po­lice au­thor­i­ties of breach of pro­ce­dure ex­plain­ing that three of­fi­cers, Se­nior In­spec­tor Ralethoko and In­spec­tors Mopeli and Le­ba­joa, skipped ranks con­trary to Reg­u­la­tion 7(1) of the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (Ad­min­is­tra­tion) Reg­u­la­tions 2003 as amended.

S/insp Mot­loli says this clearly demon­strates the wan­ton dis­re­gard for law in the pro­cess­ing of such pro­mo­tions.

He fur­ther says pro­mo­tion of the said of­fi­cers was made in the mid­dle of the fi­nan­cial year – some­thing that he ar­gued was “in­dica­tive of the fact that the 1st re­spon­dent has his own pref­er­ences who can­not even wait for be­gin­ning of the fi­nan­cial year”.

The po­lice as­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary gen­eral also al­leges the pro­mo­tions were “un­fair, dis­crim­i­na­tory and vi­o­lated the pro­vi­sions of the Po­lice Act of 1998 read with Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (Ad­min­is­tra­tion) Reg­u­la­tions 2003 as amended.”

The court is ex­pected to con­vene to­mor­row (to­day) to deal with the in­terim re­liefs sought by LEPOSA, which in­clude treat­ment of the ap­pli­ca­tion as an ur­gent mat­ter and the sus­pen­sion of the pro­mo­tions un­til the fi­nal­iza­tion of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

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