MASERU — Superintendent Pheello Mphana has decided to call it a day after more than two decades in the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS).
Mphana, 42, has been the face and voice of the LMPS in recent years but leaves the force at the end of this month for an undisclosed destination.
“It is true I’m leaving the police service,” Mphana told the Sunday Express on Friday.
“I cannot reveal my next employer now, because there are certain issues which I have to settle first.
“But I will definitely still be in public relations.”
Although he remained tight-lipped about his next job it is understood Mphana will be taking up a post with one of Lesotho’s biggest parastatal companies.
He said hard work and determination had helped him rise through the ranks in the police force.
When he joined the LMPS on April 1 1987, Mphana had only completed his Form C but he immediately started working to advance himself academically.
“When I joined the LMPS, I had only done Form C,” he said.
“But I knew to advance in my career I first had to complete my high school.
“So in 1995 I went back to school to do Form D and E.”
In 2001, Mphana enrolled for a corporate communications degree with the then Rand Afrikaans University.
He was then working in the fraud unit of the LMPS.
After successfully completing his degree programme in 2003, Mphana did a one-year diploma in criminal justice and forensic auditing.
In 2004, he was transferred from the fraud unit to the public relations office in what he said turned out to be a dream move.
“I started as a public relations assistant and in 2005 was promoted to public relations officer,” he said.
Mphana said being a PRO was the most challenging of his roles in the police force.
“You are charged with ensuring the good image of the institution because you are the face of the force,” he said.
“When things go wrong, you are the first person who comes into people’s minds and they would call you all the time.”
Mphana said it was also challenging when colleagues tried to cover up their mistakes by giving out false reports.
“Sometimes officers would do something they knew was wrong and give out false reports,” he said.
“As the PRO I would convey the report, having all the trust in my workmates, only to get the true story from members of the public.
“That caused me so much embarrassment.”
Mphana also worked in the criminal investigation department of the LMPS.
“The toughest part was investigating cases, mostly homicides, where witnesses would not be willing to give evidence,” he said.
“In the fraud unit, the biggest challenge was not having adequate training.
“We investigated fraud cases within government departments, where the criminals would be very smart people who knew better about accounting.
“That was one of the reasons I decided to go to university to do criminal justice and forensic auditing.
“Pity I never got to continue in the unit as I was immediately transferred to public relations.”
Mphana said he believed he had done enough for the country’s police force.
“I have contributed enough and learnt so much in the LMPS,” he said.
“Now is the time to move on and try new things.”