Lesotho Times
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Temeki Ts'olo

Cock the guns against criminals, minister tells police

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Temeki Tšolo, has urged the police to “cock the gun” and deal ruthlessly with criminals who were killing business people.

Mr Tšolo said they had had enough of criminals who were frequently killing business people and urged the police to take measures to afford the business people the necessary protection.

He said this at a recent public gathering which was hosted by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to meet and discuss issues of concern with the people of Mafeteng. The gathering was attended by civil servants from different ministries, school children and the local community.

“Our business people have to be protected against these criminals and as for you police, (you must) cock the gun,” Mr Tšolo said, adding the Mafeteng community were ready to “take care” of such criminals”.

“Cock the gun. We shall have no mercy on anyone who is chasing and persecuting our business people.”

The minister’s comments come at a time when there have been complaints about the alleged heavy-handedness of police when dealing with criminals.

In South Africa, the-then Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, courted controversy in January this year when he urged police officers to “shoot to kill”.

Mr Mbalula urged police officers not to die with a firearm in their hand, but to shoot until all their ammunition is spent. He further promised that he would spearhead the enactment of legislation to protect officers who faced legal action for shooting criminals in self-defence.

Speaking at the same Mafeteng gathering, Dr Thabane promised to give security agencies more powers to deal with corruption and other criminal activities including the famo-related killings.

He said it was disheartening that the rivalries among famo musicians had become so deadly that they were frequently killing each other.

“My administration has decided to put this kind of behaviour to an end as a matter of urgency. We are going to act urgently against corruption, criminal activities including senseless killings and the misuse of guns and other weapons which are being used to destroy lives.

“I am giving a directive to the Commissioner of Police, the Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force and the Director of the National Security Services to hold hands to end these killings and protect public property.

“I am going to give these agencies more powers so that these deeds (killings) become history once and for all,” Dr Thabane said without specifying what kind of powers the security agencies would be given.

Dr Thabane said he had intervened in the spat between famo musicians, Rethabile Mokete (popularly known as Khosi Mosotho Chakela) and Sarele Sello (popularly known as Lehlanya of ‘Terene’ group). The premier said he expected the duo to be on their best behaviour henceforth.

“I have intervened between these two because they are my spiritual sons and I am not expecting to hear any more negative stories about them.”

He said it was disheartening that the famo musicians continued fighting among themselves despite the fact that the ruling All Basotho Convention supported them by buying their music and dancing to it at their rallies.

“This (buying your music) is all that we can do for you and it should be appreciated. There is nothing more that we can give you. I therefore urge you to make peace and stop fighting one another.

“I don’t want to hear stories that you are fighting again and if that happens I won’t take it lightly.”

Dr Thabane said if the killings persisted the public should shun famo and opt for music from artistes from other genres who were devoted to entertainment.

“My fellow men you are not the only men in this country. Even if we are not clad in these blankets that you are fighting over, that does not make you the only men around. We are also men and there are other men in this country.

“This new fashion of you behaving like the only men must come to an immediate end,” Dr Thabane said.

The feuding among famo musicians has been escalating in recent times.

Only last month, Dr Thabane’s bodyguards had to scramble to their vehicles to retrieve guns to protect the premier after the ABC’s rally in Mapoteng in the Berea district descended into chaos.

The chaos and potential security risk to Dr Thabane and other government and party officials occurred in the aftermath of heated exchanges and threats of violence among members of the Terene group of famo musicians.

The famo musicians also traded barbs with some of the government officials and brushed aside attempts by some cabinet ministers to calm down tempers at the rally.

Led by one Ntei Tšehlana, the militant famo musicians used the rally to accuse unnamed senior ABC and government officials of denying them access to Dr Thabane whenever they sought to present their welfare concerns. They also accused some of their members of being sell-outs who allowed themselves to be used by cabinet ministers to the detriment of the unspecified interests of the famo group.

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls Telephone: +266 2231 5356

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