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Sept. 20, 2021

KABELO MASOABI

3 min read

Khaya faults government’s anti-crime strategy

Khaya faults government’s anti-crime strategy

Minister of Police, Lepota Sekola

Story highlights

  • There is a call for unleashing of death penalty
  • Police are seen as the weakest link in apprehending culprits

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MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for Mechechane Constituency, Nyapane Kaya has faulted government’s anti-crime strategy and lambasted state failure to support police, this as the country experiences a surge in murders.

MP Khaya, a member of Movement for Economic Change (MEC), which is part of the current coalition led by All Basotho Convention (ABC) with the second partner Democratic Congress (DC), was responding to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s call for the country’s judiciary to effectively administer death penalty, which is still legal in Lesotho. 
 
Dr Majoro made a call on Saturday September 18 in Butha-Buthe during the funeral service of a businessman and wife who were killed by unknown assailants. The family was raided by unknown gunmen early September. Dr Majoro said the death penalty would scare law offenders. 
 
The last execution in Lesotho was from as far back as in 1995. Lesotho has the sixth highest murder rate in the world, according to a recent World Population Review report. 

 
MP Kaya who recently defected from the ABC that leads the coalition regime, to join the MEC, said Dr Majoro was being narrow-minded by suggesting the death sentence when the police were evidently failing to arrest murder culprits.  
 "On whom is the death sentence going to be effected when the courts have nobody to charge?  
“On a broader mindset, the government should first unsure that the culprits get arrested by equipping the police with the necessary tools. This includes availing convenient vehicles and horses for the officers to promptly execute their duties.  
 
"Instead, we see the government opting to focus on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission bill aimed at only resolving priorly committed political murders while the spike in killings has now become a national calamity. Honestly, there is no political will to  address this crisis on a broader scale," Mr Kaya said.   
 
He further said it remained shocking that the Ministry of Police and Public Safety, through its former Minister, 'Mamoipone Senauoane, had announced the purchasing of 54 vehicles but only 10 have since arrived.  
 
Mrs Senauoane, whom Mr Kaya was referring to, had shown on February 1, 2019, that the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) had purchased 54 new vehicles 'which were yet to arrive in the country’.

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Tabling the financial estimates for her Ministry by then, upon receiving the said new 10 vehicles, Mrs Senauoane had said the police did not have enough equipment to carry out their main mandate of providing public safety and protection of Basotho lives in the country.  
However, she conceded that like many other government ministries, the police were also forced to divert money allocated for their ministry in the last financial year to the COVID-19 pandemic fight.  
 
"Again in this year," Mr Kaya said: "I had personally confronted the current Minister of Police, Lepota Sekola, to ask as to when the police would receive more vehicles. Sekola only told me about the budgeted two trucks and a bus. I was left wondering if those heavy vehicles would be used to chase killers as well.  
"Police need more 4 by 4 pick-ups given our mountainous land scape. Thugs keep getting away with murder and theft due to late arrivals by the police who often walk lengthy distances before getting to the crime scenes. “I won't rest until I establish as to what happened to the rest of the budget that was allocated for the other vehicles because I smell a rat here?"  

The ministry has been allocated a sum of M681 857 678 for the 2021/22 financial year.  
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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