MASERU — Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha has been caught in the web of his own “spin doctoring” antics. On Friday last week, Masupha denied to the Sunday Express that some police constables had embarked on a go-slow after they were excluded from the public service salary review. He also repeated the same denial on a local radio station.
And on Monday he also called a press conference where he said reports that the police being on go-slow were false. Masupha accused the media of “misleading the nation”. “Radio stations and newspapers that reported that the police dragged their feet are misleading the nation,” Masupha said. But on Tuesday Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who is also responsible for the police was singing an entirely different tune.
Thabane announced during his birthday party at Tsenolo FM offices that the police were actually on strike.
“I failed to attend the African Union summit in Ethiopia because I had to deal with the police strike,” Thabane said.
“The police were on strike but now things will be back to normal because we are in negotiations,” he said.
“It is very sad when the people who are entrusted with public safety are going on strike.” Thabane said the issue of police’s salaries is being given “the attention it deserves.” Thabane was supposed to have left for Addis Ababa to attend the 50th anniversary of the African Union last week but had to cancel after prison warders briefly downed tools and police constables embarked on a go-slow.
Prison warders started grumbling on May 20 when they found that they had been excluded from the public servants’ salary review. They engaged in an immediate strike that lasted until Wednesday morning.
May 20 was the pay-day for the prison warders, police and the army. The junior police officers who had similar complaints went on a go-slow while the Lesotho Police Staff Association debated whether to strike or patiently wait for the government to solve their problem.