Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

‘My conscience is clear’

Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — Home Affairs Minister Lesao Lehohla says his conscience is clear in the wake of bloody clashes between Democratic Congress and opposition supporters in Ha Thetsane on Thursday.
Lehohla was responding to charges by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili that he, as the minister in charge of the police, had failed to deploy enough police officers to the rally.
“My conscience is clear with regard to the execution of my duties,” Lehohla told the Sunday Express on Thursday night.
“I spoke with Ntate Mosisili on Monday and we even discussed what happened in Maputsoe. I am embarrassed by what transpired today,” Lehohla said.
He said after his conversation with Mosisili he met with some police officers to brief them about the rally.
“They were officially briefed as officials who issue permits for public meetings and assigned to maintain order there on Thursday.”
Lehohla added: “I have no idea what happened, I am yet to fully establish what happened after reading a report detailing what exactly transpired there. But I am not to blame.”
Lehohla however denied that only a handful of police officers had been deployed at the rally. He said about 150 police officers had in fact been deployed to maintain peace.
“Maybe something went wrong when orders were being issued during operations on the ground,” he said.
About 10 people were injured with several cars being damaged after thugs in opposition party regalia stormed the venue of the rally in Ha Thetsane.
The thugs were wearing All Basotho Convention, Lesotho Congress for Democracy, Lesotho Workers Party and Basotho National Party uniforms.
Mosisili had planned to address factory workers in Ha Thetsane as he stepped up his election campaign for the May 26 election.
The premier said Lehohla should have deployed more police officers to the rally because the opposition had warned on local radio stations that they would disrupt the rally.
“It was not a genuine error that only a handful of police were sent here, especially when I had made the request in advance,” Mosisili said.
He added that the police must have been aware that there would be mayhem because the opposition had been openly talking on local radio stations that they would disrupt the rally.
Mosisili said he was disappointed because he had consulted with Lehohla several days prior to the rally requesting that he provides tight security.
“This is very bad, especially because I told Ntate Lehohla a long time ago that we would need security for the rally,” Mosisili said.
“When things like this happen, they threaten this country’s peace. Lesotho’s peace will be destroyed.”
Mosisili appealed to Lehohla and the Commissioner of Police Kizito Mhlakaza to review the manner in which they had been dealing with security issues.
“If law enforcement officers fail to bring order and provide security, we will discipline these delinquents all by ourselves, be it good or bad,” Mosisili said.

Comments are closed.