MASERU — The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) yesterday destroyed about 1 700 illegal firearms that were seized during a special operation to combat violent crime.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane implored the police to arrest people who acquire weapons illegally saying they pose a serious threat to national security.
“People illegally arm themselves in order to seize property violently and sometimes end people’s lives.
“The police should arrest such people and put them before courts,” Thabane said.
The premier said since Lesotho is a democratic country those who wish to own firearms should apply for permission and go through a screening process so that guns do not fall in the hands of criminals.
Thabane said illegal firearms are being used during stock theft, hijacking, domestic violence and violent acts associated with drunkenness.
He also expressed dismay over the state of roads and other infrastructure in the country saying this is an anomaly as Lesotho generates a lot of money through the sale of water to South Africa.
Thabane said he was giving the police “three weeks to find where that money has gone”.
He said those who commit crime should be arrested adding criminal behavior is a threat to national development.
Police Commissioner Kizito Mhlakaza said illegal firearms pose a grave threat to human life.
“People kill each other through the use of illegal firearms and illegal guns also have a negative impact on the national wealth as that scares investors in the country,” Mhlakaza said.