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Chief upsets villagers

‘Mantoetse Maama


MASERU — Villagers of Sekamaneng have asked the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs to intervene in their dispute with their chief, Napo Majara. The villagers accuse Napo of selling their plots. They say the chief has refused to assist some of the villagers. Those that question his decisions are insulted, the villagers say.


On Thursday the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs, Selibe Mochoboroane, tried to mediate between the villagers and their chief. Mochoboroane had been invited to the meeting by the Principal Chief of Ha Majara, ‘Mamolapo Majara, to whom the Sekamaneng chief reports.  “The Principal Chief had asked the ministry to intervene as the chief was disrespecting her and the villagers. Villagers said the chief asks them to pay for services they are supposed to get for free.


In other incidents they accused him of allegedly selling their sites without their consent,” Mochoboroane said. “They also complained that the chief insults them. He refuses to assist some villagers and when the Principal Chief orders him to assist those people he continued to refuse saying he would not assist those because if he does he would be committing a crime”. Mochoboroane said what particularly shocked him was that the chief continued to insult the villagers during the meeting.


He said it was still too early to discuss the ministry’s solutions to the problem because the issue is still being discussed.

The principal chief said the conflict between the villagers and chief started several years ago. “I tried to intervene but still the chief was not cooperative. The villagers said the chief sells their sites without their consent. “There was a time when he was suspended. “On his return he refused to authorise leases that were produced when he was on suspension as he claimed that he would be committing a crime if he confirms that those people are owners of the sites.


In some cases he chooses people he favours to be the heir yet the will clarifies who will take over,” Majara said.

She said some people were claiming that he took their leases claiming that they were not authentic. She added that during the meeting Napo continued to swear at people.  “When he made a sign of a political party he supports the other group responded in another way and as the chief he was wrong because he should not have any political interest. “The minister even warned him that if he is interested in politics he should resign as a chief because he is supposed to be neutral when it comes to politics,” she said.

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