PRIME Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro is spearheading a government task force that has declared war on criminals who have taken arms against the country’s police and killing them in droves.
Sept. 4, 2021
2 min read
Majoro declares war on cop killers
Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro
- 10 policemen killed since February
- PM engages security ministers and law enforcement agencies in task team
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Since February, at least 10 police officers have been killed – nine were shot dead and one knifed, according to a police report.
Addressing the nation on national television on Thursday night, Dr Majoro lamented the widespread murders of both the members of the public and the police.
He said in order to bring the situation under control, he has formed and leads a task force that comprises a selective security ministers and law enforcement agencies.
On February 15 and March 21, two policemen were attacked and gunned down in different occasions in Butha-Buthe.
On April 2, an officer was shot dead in Thaba-Tseka and another killed on May 19 in Berea.
Police reports show that on June 16, another officer was gunned down in Maputsoe, Leribe: and four more were shot dead in August in Ha Leqele - Maseru, Mokhotlong, Butha-Buthe, Mapoteng - Berea and Mazenod - Maseru.
In other instances, reports show that police officers were attacked and disarmed by unidentified suspects.
Several suspects have already been arrested in connection with some of the incidents and are expected to appear in court soon.
Some of the deceased officers include Maputsoe Police Commander, Senior Inspector Peete Mphatšoane, who according to Police Spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli was fatally shot shortly after arriving home from work on June 18.
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Three men were seen fleeing the scene of crime into a nearby forest. They ran into a young girl who was walking home and they allegedly shot her too.
The girl was later rushed to hospital where she is said to be recovering well. Police have meanwhile launched a major manhunt for all alleged cop killers.
In his speech this week, the premier said the deaths are a devastating blow to the families of the deceased, the government and the general public.
"As a government of the people, we cannot overlook the brutal killings regardless of the motives behind them. I also take this opportunity to urge all law enforcement officers and the civilians to abstain from engaging in unlawful deals, revenge and associating with famo music gang wars or rivalry 'blanket groups'. Let us all work towards attaining the peace that Lesotho was well-known for," he said.
Lesotho has the sixth highest murder rate in the world, according to a recent World Population Review report.
The global average murder rate is seven per 100,000 people, found the report, and Lesotho has a rate almost six times higher at 41.25 (updated on Tuesday).