THE Chinese government will soon donate a fingerprint examination laboratory to the Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) as part of efforts to enhance public safety.
This was said by Chinese Embassy Charge d’Affaires, Song Changqing, at recent ceremony where the Chinese made cash and material donations to the Ministry of Police in Maseru.
The Chinese donated M111 000 for the construction of a greenhouse at the Police Training College (PTC) and also handed over a community policing kit valued at M100 000. The kit included blankets, gumboots, whistles, torches and hats.
Mr Changqing said that the Chinese government noted the lack of resources within the LMPS and was therefore committed to assisting the Lesotho police in various ways.
“We understand that the police are striving to accomplish their mandate while they have inadequate budget and resources although their work is so crucial for peace and security of Lesotho,” Mr Changqing said.
“We commend the efforts of the Lesotho Police in protecting the people including the Chinese community in Lesotho and their businesses which are often targets of armed robbery and burglary. Through the Lesotho Chinese Community and Security Cooperation Centre (CCSCC) which is one example of community policing, substantial difference has been made in combating crimes targeting the Chinese Community.
“With our assistance to community policing and the Police Training College, we wish and believe that the police will continue their efforts and perform a better job in safeguarding peace, security and protecting the people including the Chinese community in Lesotho. The total amount of the donation may be modest but it shows again the good cooperative relations between us and our commitment to help.”
Mr Changqing also said that China was committed to enhancing the LMPS competency through skills training and equipment and this was discussed during the Minister of Police, ‘Mampho Mokhele’s visit to China early this year.
“Early this year, ‘M’e Mokhele visited China where she had discussions with her counterparts on the subject of safeguarding social security and public safety. She also studied China’s practice and experience in this regard.
“As one of the outcomes of this visit, China has agreed to donate a fingerprint examination lab and the two sides are working on it and all will be revealed in due course. Currently, China has invited four police officers from the InterPol Lesotho National Central Bureau to participate a training programme related to InterPol cooperation.
“We wish to see a peaceful and secure Lesotho where Basotho and foreign investors are free of worries of insecurity. I wish to reaffirm our commitment that the Chinese government will continue to help Lesotho police in capacity building, through equipment and human resource cooperation.”
The Commissioner of Police, Holomo Molibeli, commended China’s efforts in strengthening the LMPS to deliver on its mandate.
“We have started enjoying commendable support from the Chinese government as a contingent of police officers have been to China already to train in forensic investigation. I have also been there where we discussed working relations aimed at capacitating the LMPS.
“The police are also venturing into self-reliance in food production at PTC as at times they would go without food. The funds for the greenhouse will help in crop production and also help save funds as those which were initially set aside for food will be used to cover other shortages we have within the LMPS.
“We will forever remain grateful to anyone who helps the LMPS but the only gift we can give back is to eradicate crime and ensure public safety,” Compol Molibeli said.
For her part, Ms Mokhele thanked the Chinese government, especially for the community policing kits which she said will go a long way in ensuring a safe and secure Lesotho.
“The Ministry of Police and Public Safety commits itself towards Vision 2020 goals which say Lesotho shall be a prosperous nation at peace with itself and its neighbours. As a result, we have explored different tools to use in this fight against crime.
“The community policing strategy is one of the best policing methods because many successes in crime reduction have been recorded in the areas where this strategy is used. Criminal activities happen within communities and if the community members are well capacitated, they stand a better opportunity to control crime in their villages.
“These kits will greatly help community members towards achieving prosperous and peaceful communities in line with our national goals and we are confident that meaningful achievements shall be realised now that the Chinese government has come to our rescue,” Ms Mokhele said.