ello Machakela, the All Basotho Convention MP, is gone.
He was felled by bullets whose source we may never know.
Scrutator is saddened.
We know man was born to die but no man has a right to take another man’s life for whatever reason.
Yet as we mourn and bid him farewell we should not crank up our hopes that his murderers will be caught.
The stories of murders in this country rarely end with a conviction.
We have had such callous murders before and we now know that the police, will fumble, bungle and mumble as they have always done in similar cases.
In a few months Machakela’s murder will probably just be another “cold case” filed and probably forgotten.
Courtesy of history we can reasonably speculate that his murder will probably remain one of the dozens our police have dismally failed to solve.
As usual, the police will keep telling us they are doing all they can to solve the case.
In the meantime the murderers will be loading their guns ready to dispatch another life from this earth.
The home affairs minister has already done what he does best: allaying fears, passing his condolences and shutting up.
And so as we mourn the loss of Machakela we dread the day another life will be lost in the same heinous manner.
We sleep uneasy knowing that we are not even safe in our own country and homes.
We know that while danger lurks in the dark our police officers are already in dreamland and guzzling the proceeds of what we would have given them during the day to do their work or close their eyes — bribes.
How can we have peace of mind when we know that we, our loved ones and neighbours can just be killed and the murderers will not be caught?
Should we buy bulletproof vests because the police are not doing their work?
To our dubious reputation as an outpost of poverty we have now added another title of infamy — that of a little murderous country.
It’s a title we have earned without even trying hard.
e can postulate and speculate all we want but the reality is that our police service is incapable of solving murder cases.
That is because an average police officer in this country is a mere matric chap with a casual training in investigative skills and a huge dosage of physical training.
Yes, they can sprint and shine at the Comrades Marathon but in a world of sophisticated crimes those skills are useless.
We need more brains than muscles in our police force if we are going to solve these murders and other crimes that require acumen rather than physical strength.
It is inconceivable that a police officer who can’t record a simple statement about a burglary or a lost wallet can solve a murder case unless the suspect walks into the police station with hands dripping with blood.
The powers-that-be at the police headquarters and the home affairs ministry must accept that they are running an inadequate police force.
If our police officers were qualified we wouldn’t be having such a long list of unsolved murders.
Mafeteng could not have been turned into a killing field for famo musicians and ritual murders wouldn’t be so rampant.
Those that attacked ministers’ homes in 2007 would have been arrested.
Those who killed the two soldiers who were guarding a minister’s house a few months ago would have been arrested.
Those who killed the prime minister’s son about a decade ago would be behind bars. Bereng Sekhonyana’s murder would have been solved.
It seems someone got away with the 2010 murder of a Peace Corp volunteer. Why, why, why why?
f Scrutator had it her way she would round up all police officers and send them back to school.
There they will be untaught the wrong things they learnt and taught the real skills they need to solve cases.
It’s never too late for every police officer in this country to go back to school for their own good and that of this country.
Any police officer in this country who thinks they have learnt all there is to learn about the crimes of this world is arrogant, ignorant or both.
Basotho yearn for a day when their police officers will be in the news for cracking real cases than torturing suspects.
But with the police still adamant on beating confessions, real or bogus, out of suspects it seems that day will not come anytime soon.
For now we have to live with the same old stories of police officers demanding bribes, torturing suspects and bungling investigations.
The real work of solving cases and protecting the public from criminals will always be an afterthought or a part-time vocation for some of our police officers.
Where they should be saving this country money by reducing crime they are busy poking holes into the national purse by being sued left, right and centre.
We need a total change in our police force.
As our police service keeps failing to solve serious cases it loses public goodwill.
A police service that is not trusted by the public is of no use to any country.
It can only exist in name.
When people become contemptuous of their police they either take extreme measures to protect themselves or take the law into their own hands.
The result is lawlessness.
Scrutator suspects this has already happened in Lesotho.
She is not the first to say that she doesn’t trust our police force, that minister they call Mahaletere told a United States embassy official that he had no faith in the man in the sun-scotched blue uniforms.
Even if the police manage to make arrests on Machakela’s murder in the next few days Scrutator will not retract her statements for that will only be a fluke.
If they want accolades they must do their work.
Scrutator is also aware that after reading this some excitable officers might want to behave funny.
Well, such characters must know that Scrutator is already pissed off with the police and she will not tolerate any cop who tries to pee on her.