MOAFRIKA FM e bula Pakalitha Mosisili molomo

Lesotho. Sep. 29, 2017—Basotho ba bangata ba ile ba thabela ho utloa lentsoe la dr Pakalitha Mosisili lekhetlo la pele ha e sa le likhetho li bile teng, a bua MOAFRIKA a khothaletsa Mahatammoho ho ea likhethong tsa puso ea lebaka le tsa mabatooa a Hololo, Teyateyaneng le Thupakubu ka bongata ka bongata a bile a kopa tšoarelo ka liphoso tse bileng pusong ea Khokanyanaphiri.

 

Puo eo, e ileng ea qala ho mameloa ka Labone motšehare, ea boela ea mameloa mananeong a fapakaneng ho tla kena Lepholeng la Labohlano, e lemositse bakhethi ba mekha ea Khokanyanaphiri hore ke ka ho ea likhethong ka bongata ba ka inolofaletsang puso.

 

Mofokeng o ile a hopotsa bakhethi ba habo hore ke ma-ana ka ntsu, nonyana e e reng ha e se e tsofetse, e se e hloloa ho ubella le ho kobola, e ipatang lefarung ho ea inchafatsa, e khutle e le bobebe, e bile e le bohale haholo. Ka lebaka leo, o tšepa hore le bona ba inyekile maqeba a ho hloloa ke likhetho, ba matlafetse.

 

Molaetsa oa hae o bile oa kenyelletsa hore bakhethi, bakhethoa le baemeli ba bakhethoa ba be seli, ba behe tšebetso eohle leihlo, pele ho likhetho le nakong ea tsona ’me ba etse se hlalosoang ke molao oa likhetho ha ba bona liphoso. RK.

Matšeliso a Mda KC a matlafatsa ba tsekellang Bokreste motheong oa naha

 

Banna le basali ba tsetselelang hore molao oa motheo oa Lesotho o lelekelloe ka hore Lesotho ke naha ea Botlotlehi ea Boreste ba ile ba fumana matla matšelisong a Adv Zwelakhe Mda, KC ea neng a bua phupung ea Col Tefo Hashatsi, Mafeteng, mafelong a beke.

 

Monghali Lebohang Maketa o re ’muelli e moholo oa Motlotlehi o ile a sebelisa bibele ho manolla see a itseng ke bosebeletsi bo botle ba toka, e leng bo fang mahlakore ohle monyetla oa ho mameloa pele lekhotla le fana ka kahlolo.

 

Monghali Mda o hlalosoa a bile a etsa mohlala ka Morena Molimo le Adama tšimong ea Etene, a re pele Adama a pitloa ka kahlolo, o ne a fuoe monyetla oa ho ikarabella khahlanong le qoso ea tlolo molao oa Molimo.

 

Taba eona eo, e ile ea bapisoa le taelo ea lekhotla la ’maseterata oa Maseru e hlakotsoeng ke Lekhotla le Phahameng la Lesotho, ka Lapele la beke ena, ka le reng e ne e ile ea filhleloa ho sa lateloa lipehelo tsa molao.

 

Ke moo bakhethi ba ileng ba re, e re kaha Lesotho le se le bile le le tseleng ea tlhophobocha ea puso ea naha ena, ho balelloa le ho otlolla molao oa motheo ’moho le bosebeletsi ba toka, ke hore ho hle ho hapelloe Bokreste molaong oa motheo oa naha ka hore: “Lesotho e tla ba naha ea Botlotlehi ea Bokreste.” RK.

Ramainoane o sulubantse ’Maseterata oa Maseru ka nyeoe lekhotleng le phahameng

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Sebonomoea RK Ramainoane ha a qeta ho sulubanya ‘maseterata oa Maseru ka nyeoe Lekhotleng le Phahameng la Lesotho.

Moahloli Semapo Peete o phatlalalitse taelo ea ’Maseterata oa Maseru, khahlanong le Mohlomphehi Mohlophisi e Moholo, e le ntho e lokelang ho nkoa e sa ka ea e-ba teng ho hang.

Kahlolo e bileng ka Lapele la beke ena, ka Lekhotleng le Phahameng la Lesotho, e ne e ipapisitse le hore ’Maseterata oa Maseru o ne a laele Mohlomphehi Mohlophisi e Moholo ho lokollela mapolesa a ntlokholo likhatiso tsa mananeo, feela a sa latela litsela tsa molao tsa ho fihlela qeto eo.

Taelo eo, e ne e ile ea etsoa ka Labohlano la ha khoeli ena e ne e hlola matsatsi a robeli, e sena nomoro ea lekhotla, e bile e hlakile hore e entsoe Mohlophisi e Moholo a sa mameloa

Taba ea litšenyehelo, e setse matsohong a babuelli ba Mohlophisi e Moholo le ba ’Maseterata, ba ntseng ba buisana ka eona. Babuelli ba Mofapahlooho ba kopa hore litšenyehelo tseo, li lefshoe e le tse tloaelehileng ha oa Mohlomphehi Mohlophisi e Moholo eena a batla hore li lefshoe ka mokhoa oa khalemo.

Ha e ba lipuisano li ka nolofala, babuelli ba tla khutlela ka lekhotleng le phahameng ho ea tiisa tumellano ea bona, empa ha e ba li thatafala, ba ntse ba tla khutlela lekhotleng lona leo ho ea kopa namo ea lona.

Lebaka la Adv Zwelakhe Mda, KC, oa Mafeteng, la ho batla litšenyehelo tsa khalemo, ke ho hlaola lehola le bonahetseng qetong ea ’Maseterata oa Maseru, ea sebelisitseng matla a lekhotla la molao hampe, ho nanabeletsa Dt Const Tankiso Lethoko letsoho lipatlisisong tsa hae tsa nyeoe ea criminal defamation.

Mohlomphehi Mohlophisi e Moholo o re o leboha Morena Molimo, babuelli ba hae le sechaba sohle se ratang MOAFRIKA, ka tšehetso e sa thekeseleng lintoeng tsena tse hopoletsoeng ho timetsa se-ea-le-moea sena sa Molimo, sa Sechaba ka Sechaba. RK.

 

 

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Sebonomoea RK Ramainoane in a red blanket and head gear with members of staff of MOAFRIKA FM RADIO after winning a court in the Lesotho High Court.

 

#Lesotho High Court rules in favour of Ramainoane

 

Monday, September 25, 2017—Lesotho High Court has ruled in favour Sebonomoea Ratabane Khoase Ramainoane in an application where  Ramainoane had sought review and quashing of a fake order that was made by a Maseru Magistrate court, instructing Ramainoane to release audio tapes to Tankiso Lethoko, a detective, based a the notorious Police Headquarters.

In his affidavit to the magistrate, Lethoko had averred that “he was investigating a case of Criminal Defamation which is reported at Maseru Central charge Office per MCCO 36/09/17 and Occurrence Book 153/09/17.”

Subsequently, the magistrate made the following order: “The Editor in Chief of MOAFRIKA FM RADIO STATION (Mr Ratabane Ramainoane) to make and release, on or before 11th September 2017 at 09H00, copies of News Bulletin and Radio programmes to the investigator (Detective Police Constable Lethoko) which were broadcast on the said radio Station on the following dates and time shown hereunder…….”

Justic Semapo Peete, today ruled that, the Maseru Magisrate court’s order “is declared null and void and of no consequence.”

As for the costs, the crown counsel is negotiating a settlement based on ordinary fees, whereas ramainoane and his counsel, Adv Zwelakhe Mda, Kings Counsel are seeking punitive costs on the basis that the magistrate in question should be taught a lesson that will deter him from further abuse of judicial process as he has done in this matter. RK.

#Lesotho High Court rules in favour of Ramainoane

Monday, September 25, 2017—Lesotho High Court has ruled in favour Sebonomoea Ratabane Khoase Ramainoane in an application where  Ramainoane had sought review and quashing of a fake order that was made by a Maseru Magistrate court, instructing Ramainoane to release audio tapes to Tankiso Lethoko, a detective, based a the notorious Police Headquarters.

In his affidavit to the magistrate, Lethoko had averred that “he was investigating a case of Criminal Defamation which is reported at Maseru Central charge Office per MCCO 36/09/17 and Occurrence Book 153/09/17.”

Subsequently, the magistrate made the following order: “The Editor in Chief of MOAFRIKA FM RADIO STATION (Mr Ratabane Ramainoane) to make and release, on or before 11th September 2017 at 09H00, copies of News Bulletin and Radio programmes to the investigator (Detective Police Constable Lethoko) which were broadcast on the said radio Station on the following dates and time shown hereunder…….”

Justic Semapo Peete, today ruled that, the Maseru Magisrate court’s order “is declared null and void and of no consequence.”

As for the costs, the crown counsel is negotiating a settlement based on ordinary fees, whereas ramainoane and his counsel, Adv Zwelakhe Mda, Kings Counsel are seeking punitive costs on the basis that the magistrate in question should be taught a lesson that will deter him from further abuse of judicial process as he has done in this matter. RK.

Basotho ba re tharollo ea litaba tsa Lesotho e tlas’a sefate e seng Sadc

Maikutlo a banna le basali ba basotho, ba bakhethi, ke hore tharollo ea matahata a naha ena e tla tsoaloa ke lipuisano tse tlang ho tšoareloa tlas’a sefate, Basotho ba buisana ka thata feela ka tlhomphano, e seng ho Sadc sle mabotho a eona.

Ba bua Pusong ea Sechaba ka Sechaba ea mafelong a beke ena, ba itse Sadc e se e ’nile ea kena kahar’a naha ena ka makhetlo, empa tharollo ea eona ea e-ba khotso ea mabele feela.

Ka lebaka lena bakhethi ba lumellane le Monghali Seabata Motsamai, Mookameli oa Mekhatlo e Ikemetseng ea Lesotho hore khoeling e tlang ka la leshome le metso e robeli le la leshome le metso e robong, Basotho ba tle ba kopane tlas’a sefate, ho rala tsela e ka ba isoang khotsong ea kamehla.

Ba etse hloko hore bothata ba puso ea naha ena bo ho baetellipele ba sechaba e seng ho masole kapa mapolesa, ’ona ke lisebelisuoa tsa baetellipele bao feela. Lenaneo la kajeno le ile la thehella litaba tsa lona ho la har’a beke moo ho ileng ha lumellanoa hore ho Basotho ba lokela ho hlaba chitjana molatelle ona o tsebe ho fela.

Dr Fako Likoti o ile a matlafatsa taba ea bakhethi ka le reng Junifesithi ea Maryland, Amerika e se e kile ea tla Lesotho ho tla ithuta tsela ea Basotho ba Moshoeshoe ea ho rarolla likhang tsa puso, ’me ea tloha mona e thabile haholo, ka mantsoe ao, a Basotho ba se ba ntse ba e-na le molleloa oa moriana, ha ba hloke o tsoang Sadc.

Ngoahola, ha Lesotho le ne le keteka lilemo tse mashome a mahlano tsa boipuso ba lona, Mswati oa Boraro, ka boemo ba hae e le Molulasetulo oa Sadc, o ne a re Lesotho le ke le ithute ho itšebeletsa litaba tsa lona, le khaotse ho be sale le li huletse ho Sadc. RK.

Litaba tsa Lesotho ha li hloke Sadc, li hloka beng ba tsona ke phetho ke tu

Maikutlo a Basotho ke hore qhaqhang-qhang e kahar’a naha ena ea lipolotiki le tlhokahalo ea botsitso le tǵireletseho ke ntho e hlokang ho hlabeloa chitjana e seng ho lateloa sesole sa balichaba.

Ba bua Puong ea Sesotho kajeno, Basotho ba itse ho “hlaba chitjana” ke ho etsisa Moshoeshoe ka malimo a neng a ile a ja ntatae moholo Peete, moo ea molato a seng a sa o balloe a mpa a tšoareloa ka tsela e se nang moeli.

Mokhoa oo, Basotho ba tsebang bibele ba re ke o neng o sebelisoa ke Molimo sechabeng sa hae sa Iseraele, o bitsoa oa “khomo e khunoana ea sehlabelo.” Litaba tsa eona li hlaha khaolong ea leshome le metso e robong ea Numere.

MaAmerika le ’ona a hlahelletse a ile a etsa ntho e joalo kamor’a ntoa ea ’ona ea lehae e neng e nke nako e telele, ho tloha ka 1861, ea ba ea nǵosa bophelo ba President Abraham Lincoln, e mong oa babusi ba mehleng ea hlonepshoang haholo ba naha eo.

Boemong bo tjena ba litaba, Basotho ba re senyethehali sa chelete, se tlilo sebelisoa holim’a masole a balichaba a tlang Lesotho, se ka tsoela naha ena molemo le ho feta ha se ka abeloa malapa ohle a ileng a lahleheloa kapa a senyeheloa ka lebaka la merusu ea lipolotiki tsa joale le tsa mehleng, ho sa natsoe ’mala oa polotiki ea motho ka mong.

Baruti le marena a sehlooho, ba hlalosoa ke Basotho e le bona ba nang le matla a molao le a bo-Molimo a ho thibela ho kena ha Sadc, le ho khannela sechaba babusi ba sona, moo ho tlang ho hlajoa chitjana, sebe sa sona se hlakoloe, khotso e boele naheng ena. RK.

LESOTHO GOVERNMENT AND SADC IN DISPUTE OVER MILITARY INTERVENTION

Introduction

The current contradictory media statements by the Prime Minister (PM) of Lesotho, Dr. Thomas Thabane, Foreign Minister Makgothi, Principal Secretary of Defense Colonel Mothae and Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary Stagomena Tax, have created more anxiety and worrisome developments among Basotho and some political commentators. It is not often that, the regional body and a leadership of a member state appears to be differing on media platforms. These differences have created more apprehension since they concern the security of Lesotho and the role of SADC as a regional body mandated to deal with politics, defense and security. It is these foreign policy challenges that the paper will discuss below.

Prime Minister’s Request for Military intervention

On Saturday the 09th September 2017, the PM was interviewed on the way forward regarding the recent senseless killing of the Lesotho defense Force (LDF) Commander on BBC Peter Okocha programme. The PM was quoted as saying, “we have sent a delegation to both SADC and the AU headed by our Foreign Minister “, to seek military intervention. It would appear that the Premier had already requested SADC to send its military in Lesotho. According to the PM, these SADC forces from Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa are expected to arrive in Lesotho on the 11th or the 12th September 2017. He was further quoted as saying, “we want a real shuffle in this organization (LDF). I know there are good men in there and so we have to isolate good men from chaff”.  What is even more interesting is that the PM did not only send his foreign Minister to the regional body SADC, but to the African Union (AU) as well. The interest here is that, it is common cause that you cannot bypass the regional body (SADC) and proceed to the continental body (AU).  Only SADC Summit has a mandate to approach the AU not a member state.

Conversely, on the 13th September 2017, SADC Standby force did not arrive in Lesotho as declared by the Prime Minister above. On the Morning of the 13th September the Principal Secretary for defense and the Minister of Foreign Affairs made diametrically opposing statements with the Prime Minister on Radio Maria Morning Programme. First the Principal Secretary Colonel Mothae informed the Nation that he was not expecting any SADC standby Force to arrive in Lesotho. He went further to declare that, the current leadership of the on the LDF was in control and there was nothing that can motivate such intervention. Mothae was corroborated by his Foreign Minister Makgothi, who said that, the Troika will have to deliberate before any SADC force can land on Lesotho. He went further to state that only after the double Troika Meeting to be held on Friday 14th September 2017 can the nation will be informed about whether there will be military intervention or not.

SADC Response to Military Intervention in Lesotho

In confirming the Lesotho’s Prime Minister’s request, SADC Executive Secretary Stagomena Tax, was quoted on BBC Orgy Brown programme , as saying, “I can confirm that, they have requested a stabilising military force, but such decision to send a force is made by the decision-making structures, and that is the Summit… However, with regard to this request, there are a number of issues which have to be looked into; legal requirements, the mandate, budget, operationalization and other logistics”. This was a stunning contradiction by the Executive Secretary to the head of government. In a sense, Tax is raising alarm bells that the current political environment in Lesotho is not yet conducive for military intervention otherwise why will she come up with such conditions? It would appear that the Premier requested military intervention, but SADC want certain tests to be passed to justify his (PM) request. In fact, the SADC Communique of Friday the 15th September 2017, paragraph 7, appears to set these conditionalities, to the effect that, Chiefs of Defense and Security were mandated to conduct assessment first, before any determination on the PM’s request, regarding the requirements and appropriate size of the contingent could be made. The issue of budget while important and operationalisation of these forces also critical, I will focus on the SADC Mandate and the International legalistic approach to legitimate interventions.

Legalistic

What Tax meant by legal requirement in relation to the Premier request, was the Charter of the United Nations that, regulate interventions. After 1945 it was agreed that any justification for military intervention would reside with the United Nation Security Council (UNSC). Therefore, Article 24 of the Charter confers upon it the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.  To perform this function Chapter VII of the UN Charter in Article 39 authorises the UNSC to “decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Article 41 and 42, to maintain international peace and security’. Chapter VI advocates the settlement of disputes through diplomatic means with the consent of parties involved in conflicts. Therefore, non-coercive means of conflict resolution were made central in this chapter. The use of force therefore, has to be limited to the protection of human rights.

On the other hand, Article 52, which deals with regional arrangements, encouraged regional bodies and other agencies to deal with matters relating to peace and security. Article 53 further states that “no enforcement or by regional agencies without the authorisation of the Security Council” shall be contemplated. Nevertheless, the legality of and questions relating to intervention still persist even though prohibitions for unauthorised interventions were outlawed by the UN Charter in Article 2(4).

The rationale for the rule against intervention in domestic affairs is to encourage states to manage their own problems by ensuring that they do not spill over and transform themselves into a major threat to international peace and security. In June 1998, the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, argued that intervention must be condemned when a strong party intervened in the territory of the weaker state, therefore suggesting that intervention was tantamount to aggression because only the UN: has the authority to act in this ‘benign’ capacity, an authority that comes from decisions of the Security Council, whose own authority comes from the Charter of the United Nations. The UNSC derives its power from the UN Charter, which is the legal document that has been codified by member states. Kofi Annan argues that the UN enjoys the right to suspend the principle of the norm of non-intervention in pursuit of humanitarian intervention. This UN mandate derives from the authority of the UNSC.

In like manner, the OAU also clearly defined circumstances within which military intervention can be conducted by African member states. Under Article II of the OAU Rules of Procedure, African states declared that the OAU would promote the unity and solidarity of African states and coordinate and intensify their cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa, thus promoting international cooperation with due regard to the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human rights. By entrenching the above clause in the OAU Charter, member states unequivocally vowed to defend their sovereignty against any intervention whatsoever. These principles were explicit in purpose and intention, that is, military intervention without sanction of the authorising body was forbidden. In order to reinforce these principles, the OAU passed Article VI, under which member states pledge themselves to observe scrupulously the principle enumerated in Article III of the present Charter. The transformation of the OAU into the African Union (AU) embraced the above principles. In its constitutive act, the AU committed itself to functioning in accordance with the principles set out in Article 4, which were similar to those of the defunct OAU, but were more democratic and more UN-compliant. Under the principles of Article 4 African states committed themselves to the peaceful settlement of disputes and to the rule of law.

Mandate

In her interview above, Tax referred to the SADC mandate which is also in tantam with the Article 4 of the AU. The SADC Organ of Politics Defense and security (OPDS) which deals with political challenges in member states bordering on security, in its preamble emphasised strict respect for each member state’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The preamble also advocated respect for good neighbourliness, interdependence, sovereign equality, political independence, non-aggression and non-interference in the internal affairs of the member states. The 1996 protocol also articulated the objectives of the Organ, which provided the framework for its operations. These objectives laid down collective security arrangements. This protocol committed the member states to abide by UN Security Council resolutions in the maintenance of peace and security within the region. They would work in close co-operation in matters relating to politics, defence and security. They committed themselves to adopt conflict resolution mechanism rather than direct intervention in the domestic affairs of member states. The Summit reaffirmed that the SADC Organ constituted an appropriate institutional framework by which SADC countries would coordinate their policies and activities in the areas of politics, defence and security.

They therefore, member states agreed to these principles, which would guide OPDS in its operations. The principles appear as inter-alia, set out in Article 4 of the SADC treaty, which shall be the guiding principles for the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security:

  1. Achievement of solidarity, peace and security in the region;
  2. Observance of human rights, democracy and the rule of law;

III.       Promotion of economic development in the SADC region in order to achieve for all member states, equity, balance and mutual benefit;

  1. Peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediation and arbitration;
  2. Military intervention of whatever nature shall be decided upon only after all possible political remedies have been exhausted in accordance with the charter of the AU and of the United Nations.

The organ was therefore set up to achieve the above principles and objectives. However, as a SADC implementing body the Organ in executing its mandate had to work closely with member states. It was these above principles that the Executive Secretary referred to when he responded to the request of the Lesotho Prime Minister. That means, for the request to be granted it had to be examined in relations to the above criteria. The SADC Communique of Friday 15th September paragraph 7 demostrated this line of thinking. That is, assessment must be made first before any determination for intervention can be arrived at. We should recall that, on Monday 5th September, the PM when informing the nation about these Senior Military Offices deaths, he said, people should remain calm and the LDF was under civilian rule and he had already appointed acting Commander who had assured him that all is well at the LDF. In fact, there is currently no civil war or any type of unrest or collapse of law and order in Lesotho. The question is then, why a request for intervention? It is this environment that has made SADC Secretariat and the Double Troika to doubt the sincerity of the Prime Minister. Probably it is this assessment that the Chiefs of Defense have been task by the double Troika to establish.

Conclusion

It would appear that, SADC saw Lesotho situation as challenge of reforms not military intervention while the government saw it differently. That is, the Constitution, Public service, Security sector, Judiciary and Parliamentary reforms. SADC appears to be very adamant in this direction. SADC Executive Secretary Stagomena Tax, emphasized reforms more than anything else. Furtheremore, the existing environment appears not as explosive as the one requiring SADC military intervention of 300 or 400 troops as the foreign Minister suggested on radio Maria.

It may be recalled that in the last immediate SADC Summit in Johannesburg, the Premier assured the region that everything is under control in Lesotho. He went further to say that Lesotho will cease to be a bad boy of SADC. The question is why requesting military intervention now? When announcing the deaths of the Commander and his two senior Officers, the PM even went further to assure Basotho about the existing peace and the fact that the LDF is under civilian control and therefore he has appointed an acting Commander. It is abundantly clear that, the existing political environment in Lesotho does not warrant military intervention. The PM must create harmonious conditions for this Nations to discuss reforms in the above five sectors.

Judging from the legal requirement for the PM request, this does not obtains under the current political conditions in Lesotho. It was for this reason the SADC Executive Secretary reminded him about the legal requirement of the Military intervention. For the SADC mandate, it is also clear that the SADC Summit is the decision-making structure that will make decision in November 2017 not before then. If then, the SADC Treaty above does not even come close to acceding to the PM’s request.

WHY THE GOVERNMENT MUST ESTABLISH A COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY TO INVESTIGATE DEATHS OF THE THREE SENIOR ARMY OFFICERS.

Dr Fako Johnson Likoti

Introduction

There is a long standing African metaphor which says “when the two Elephants fight is the grass that suffers” Literally translated, what is happening in Lesotho appears to be exactly that. The shooting at Lesotho Military Headquarters on the 5th September 2017 suggests that, there is more to it than meet an eye. Basotho are left bewildered. We are not exactly sure how the Commander of Lesotho Defense, Lieutenant General MotsoMotso, Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Hashatsi were fatally shot. The Prime Minister called this shooting heinous which it is. The PM assured the Nation that the government was in full control of the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF). The Prime Minister when announcing to the Nation about these deaths, further said that, he has appointed Major General Lineo Poopa as Acting Commander according to the existing seniority in the Army. The PM went further to inform the Nation that SADC will send a Ministerial Fact Finding Mission to Lesotho.

Conversely, Lesotho Foreign Minister Makgothi raised an accusing finger towards the two senior Officers who were shot with the Commander. He said that, the Brigadier was armed and he was the one who shot the Commander while the Colonel was not armed, but they were both shot by the Commander’s guards. He further stated that they went to fight the Commander and they even accused him for being a sell-out to the current government. He concluded that both Sechele and Hashatsi were fingered by the Phumaphe report as suspects for killing Brigadier Mahao. It is this explanation that left us wondering what’s going on. Maybe investigations will reveal the truth. But we expect our government as the Prime Minister promised “investigations were continuing” will finally inform the Nation about what really took place. It is for these conflicting government statements and Seniority of these Officers that a Commission of enquiry must be established. Why the Need for Commission of Enquiry

Immediately after the unfortunate and fatal shooting of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao in 2015, the government moved very swiftly to establish the Commission of Enquiry. The government wrote to SADC for assistance. This was presumably after realizing that, most people deserve the truth about what actually happened. In order to establish credibility over this investigation, SADC was seen as the only neutral body that can come up with a credible explanation hence the establishment of Justice Mphaphi Phomaphe Commission of enquiry.

One of the motivating factors for this type of Commission was to ensure that the outcome was not going to be politicized and be neutral and acceptable to everybody. However, we now know that the government failed in its endeavor of shielding the Commission results from politicisation. The question is why this time around the Commission has not been established to investigate the death of not one but three Senior Military Officers. The Prime Minister promised the Nation investigations but till now no Commission whether local or Regional has been established to date to ascertain the sources of these unfortunate killings.

Surely, the Nation has the right to know what really happened on the 5th September 2017. We have since learnt from our Foreign Minister that, the Commander’s Office is a one story building, mounted with cameras. No Commander’s visitor is allowed to get into this office armed. He further said, “When the two Officers went in, only Brigadier Sechele was armed with a sidearm while Colonel Sechele was unarmed”. The Mother of Hashatsi corroborated the Minister with the above chain of events. She said she was told by some Senior Officers who worked with Hashatsi that, her son (Hashatsi ) was unarmed and he was not even wearing a bulletproof vest. Meaning that, he was not ready for any combat operation.

The foreign Minister also stated that, “Sechele was led in, armed only on account of his Senior rank of Brigadier”. After Sechele fatally shooting the Commander, he came out first with his hands and gun raised in the air and Hashatsi also did the same, the Minister was quoted as having said. But they were subsequently gunned down by the Commanders guards, The Minister continues on SABC radio. He said Sechele died instantly while Hashatsi died from his wounds at the Hospital. The Minister further stated that, “Hashatsi was found with his hand clinching to hand grenade on the ground where he had fallen outside the Commander’s office but a few meters on the ground”. If these allegations made by the Minister are true then the investigations have their work cut out. We expect the PM to establish a Commission of Enquiry that would get to the bottom of these heinous deaths.

The question is, if indeed the Brigadier had his hands and gun raised why shoot him? Equally important, Hashatsi was not armed at all and the Minister said that very clearly, why shoot him when he had his hands raised in surrender mode? The man was not even wearing an armed vest according to his mother and there was no sign of struggle, so why shoot them? The Minister further alleged that, Hashatsi had a hand grenade where he fell. The question is where did he get it from? Yet when he was shot there was no hand grenade and when he got into his Commander’s office he had no grenade? We expect the investigations to answer some of these questions? We all know that Geneva Conventions and laws of engagement mandate that, you cannot shoot someone who raised his hands in surrender mode just like it has been alleged that Sechele and Hashatsi did. These conventions also mandate soldiers to treat prisoners humanly. The Commission of Enquiry must come up with lucid explanation here.

Equally deserving the above enquiry is what took place on Thursday the 14th Semptember 2017. According to public eye newspaper, one Major Pitso Ramoepane appeared before the Magistrate Court charged with shooting the Commander. The publication went further to state that, “Ramoepane’s arraignment before Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Murenzi puts in doubt initial reports that Brigadier Bulane Sechele fired the lethal shot that killed Mots’omots’o”. This makes it even more imperative for the   government to establish the Commission of Enquiry.

Different Accounts of Shooting from the Government

Explanations from the government, by the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the Principal Secretary of defense, presented to the Nation with differing versions as to how the shooting took place. We were informed that, Brigadier Sechele was armed with a sidearm which was deposited on his right waist side not from a normal left waist side. He was the one who shot the General but came out of the office with his hands and gun in the air together with Colonel Hashatsi. This means that he was not combat ready. Furtheremore, we were told that they found a deputy Press Officer in a meeting with the General. But it would appear that the press officer was not injured during the gun fire. We are also told that Sechele accused the General for being a sell-out, selling them to the Police. But we are not told what Hashatsi actually said, nor have we been told about the reaction of the Press office.

Later on the government reinforced their explanation with the Phumaphe report. They alleged that, the two Officers (Sechele and Hashatsi) were pinpointed by the report as the people who must be investigated. While this is true, we should also recall that Sechele was a Military Lawyer who was very conversant with legal matters surrounding the death of Brigadier Mahao and he even appeared before the Commission. The question is, what actually motivated him to shoot the General when he knew the facts surrounding this case of which he is one of the suspects? We may also recall that, evidence was presented before the Commission that, the operation to Arrest the late Brigadier was sanctioned and signed for by the acting Army Command Mots’omots’o at the time. This means that the operation was legal and anybody who participated in that operation did so executing legal orders. Definitely, Sechele would have known this as a lawyer. It is therefore, more than likely that he drafted the said operation order. Most importantly, nowhere in the Phumaphe report the Commission declared that operation to arrest the late Brigadier Mahao illegal.

The only finding of the Commission among many was that “Criminal investigations on the death of Brigadier Mahao be pursued vigorously and that the LMPS be empowered and resourced accordingly. The investigation should be conducted expeditiously and comprehensively without any hindrances and that all physical evidence be surrendered”. In a sense, this recommendation was suggesting a closure since the operation was legal, nobody was going to be found guilty. On this score alone even if the two officers were rightly pinpointed by the vigorous investigation, they were still going to walk free because the operation was legal. Hashatsi must have known this extremely well. Therefore, Sechele could not go to the extent of murdering the General in cold blood for something he would not be convicted for. The same argument goes for Hashatsi and others. Nevertheless, the Commission of enquiry have the opportunity to delve deeper in this.

Disciplining Brigadier Mahao

We must also recall that, Brigadier Mahao first had an altercation with the former Captain Hashatsi, during the time when Lieutenant General Kamoli was out of the country. Brigadier Mahao was brought before disciplinary tribunal by the Army Command under Major general Mots’omots’o. Furthermore, the current case of mutiny soldiers also, was first convened under the Command of Mots’oMots’o. Some of the earlier arrests took place under his command. The question is, why was he killed? And who would benefit for this heinous killing? and why would this Killing been done by a Brigadier as well for what? If the Government can expeditiously convene the Commission of enquiry whether localy or internationally the Nation will be able to understand the circumstances and motivation behind these killings or even understand why the government has already proclaimed in different media platforms that, Sechele and Hashatsi were guilty of killing Lt. General Mots’oMots’o.

Lastly, we also know that, during the process of collecting evidence, the Phumaphe Commission was given a list of suspects who refused to surrender to the Police by the then Commissioner of Police, who later fled the Country before his evidence was cross-examined. Furthermore, other names of LDF members were presented before the Commission in South Africa. These alleged perpetrators were never given a chance to defend themselves before this Commission. Their names were presented in their absence. Only if the government could establish the Commission we would not speculate and make unfounded allegation, but the truth would be found.

Political Rhetoric of ABC

Since, the so called coup of August 2014, a lot has been said about the LDF. In fact, immediately, after Lt. Gen. Kamoli and others left the country, political parties made their cases a campaign issue. The Congress parties openly said they were going to reinstate Kamoli if they won elections. On the other hand, the ABC and its partners said equally and openly that they will not reinstate him but Brigadier Mahao. It must also be recalled that, from 2014 onwards, the ABC never trusted the LDF. In fact, they were very suspicious of the institution. This suspicion was justified by the fact that, the PM fled the country in 2014 and 2015 from what was alleged to be Army attempts to assassinate him. The current PM at some point during campaign even motivated for the dissolution of the LDF. It is now common knowledge that, after the PM was sworn in he did not want to use the army guards even after opening of the tenth parliament. It is interesting that the PM is now hero-worshiping Lt General Mots’omots’o and yet three months before he was their archenemy. The government therefore, own the nation an explanation as to who killed these three Army Officers and why?

Conclusion

The only solution to this conundrum is Commission of enquiry, to establish what really happened on that fateful Monday the 5th September 2017. The government is in a better position to inform this nation as to what happened. This matter is too serious to be taken lightly. It is also too delegate and sensitive to the stability of this nation and the discipline of the Army itself. The current narrative from different quarters is not helping. We need to have a transparent investigative process that will inspire confidence not only in the LDF but in the current political leadership. Serious questions must be asked and answers must be procured. Therefore the establishment of the Commission of Enquiry is the only solution to solve this matter.

 

Lesotho police to interrogate opposition spokesman, Friday

Image result for images of Apesi Ratsele

Former Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Apesi Rats’ele in a black suit.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017—Deputy spokesman of the second largest opposition party, Mr Apesi Rats’ele says he has been called for question by police and he is fearing for his life.

One Adv Mokete, an officer in the legal division of the police, says Rats’ele, called him earlier today, instructing him to appear before his team of interrogators in connection with a report he made on MOAFRIKA FM RADIO, on the opposition’s meeting with Sadc Oversight Committee.

Rats’ele further says, his fear emanates from the fact that this are a team of officers all out to execute the prime minister’s order that police should beat suspects once out of sight, even if the beating results leads to fatalities, he’ll stand by them.

“I’m yet to consult with my lawyer and hopefully inform the Sadc Oversight Committee and ask for their assistance.” Says he. RK.