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PM must act now before it’s too late

THE standoff between members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMS), which left onlookers more bemused than terrified, was as unfortunate as it was embarrassing considering discipline is supposed to be the hallmark of these critical security institutions.

After a tipoff that some LDF members had descended on Pitso Ground Police Station late Friday afternoon, the Sunday Express crew immediately made a beeline for the station, located in one of the busiest parts of Maseru.
Yet the dramatic scene which greeted our news team on arrival at the station could have been from an action movie as the excited crowd jostled to get closer to the action, in this instance the police station, while soldiers moved around with weapons at the ready.

It later emerged, through interviews, as indicated in our cover story, that this was a confrontation born out of an apparent “misunderstanding” between a group of police recruits and some soldiers.
Yet the undertones regarding this confrontation — as suggested by those who claim relations between the LDF and LMPS are at an all-time-low due to some alleged fight for supremacy — point to a more serious rift that could explode into something more serious if the relevant powers do not stamp their authority and call the leaders of these respective institutions to a roundtable conference.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, as head of the country’s security, should lead this initiative, but must receive the necessary backing from all stakeholders.

Thabane is leading a government of three parties, namely his All Basotho Convention (ABC), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP), whose ideologies are very different as defined by the very nature of the parties’ foundations.

But the fact that the three parties decided to form a government after the 2012 general election should imply a common goal, which is to see Lesotho continue to prosper and nurturing her democracy.
But without a harmonious working relationship between the police and army, there cannot be absolute stability within any nation and without peace, there can never be economic development in any country, Lesotho included.

Lesotho has benefited immensely from her relative peace by attracting foreign investors, whose businesses have offered our people the much-needed employment government has failed to provide.
The importance of having a stable and peaceful country cannot be overemphasised, and not just for the development of the economy, but also ensuring there is no unnecessary bloodshed resulting from a dispute that could have been easily and amicably resolved.

It is true Thabane, as Prime Minister, is the leader of this country but as pointed out by analysts on numerous occasions, he leads an administration with diverse philosophies, hence the need for the heads of the other two parties in government with the ABC — Mothetjoa Metsing of the LCD and Thesele ‘Maseribane of the BNP — to also take a more active role in the running of government.

It is the ordinary man and woman, and not forgetting the children, who will suffer in the event of a destabilised Lesotho, which is why this country’s peace should be jealously guarded and anyone who threatens, it promptly called to order.


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