Police Commissioner promotes more officers
POLICE Commissioner, Holomo Molibeli, has promoted 21 officers to various ranks with effect from 11 and 22 March this year.
The promotions were made despite the ongoing court case in which the Lesotho Mounted Police Service Staff Association (LEPOSA) is challenging the January 2018 promotions.
The promotions were made in two batches, the first of 10 officers were effected on 16 March this year while the other 11 were made on 22 March.
Sergeants Selebalo, Libeso and Thamae, Lance Sergeants Mohoang and Nkeane as well as Police Constables Masoetsa, Lethoko, Seutloali, Nthejane and Chabalala are now Inspectors as per the 16 March promotions.
Constables Mosifa, Pholoana, Ramarou, Raphoka, Selebeli, Rakaibe, Nei, Liphoto, Lekeba and Khanare as well as woman police constable Mokhotho were promoted to the rank of Lance Sergeant.
The 21 promotions are captured in two memos addressed to different police structures.
Police spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, confirmed the promotions, saying they were effected after 21 vacant positions were announced.
“Both the memos are authentic and these promotions were made in line with the fact that there were vacant positions that opened up within the police force,” Sup Mopeli said.
“LEPOSA has no stake in the promotions of police officers, these are administrative decisions made by the police commissioner.”
Efforts to get a comment from COMPOL Molibeli were fruitless as he was initially said to be at the bank and later his phone went unanswered.
LEPOSA earlier this year lodged an urgent application before the High Court challenging six promotions, alleging that proper procedures were not followed.
The six officers who were promoted are Inspector Baleme Edwin Lebajoa (now an Assistant Commissioner), Senior Inspector Lefu Ralethoko (now Senior Superintendent) while Police Spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli and Butha-Buthe Police Senior Inspector, Thato Ramarikhoane, were elevated to the rank of Superintendents.
Inspectors, Mohlapiso Mohlapiso and Boipuso Monne were also promoted to the rank of Senior Inspector.
In the court papers, LEPOSA called on the respondents to “show cause” why “the promotions announced on the 12th day of January 2018 shall not be declared null, void and of no legal force and effect in law for violating provisions of Section 8(1) read with 8(2) of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service Act No. 7 of 1998”.
LEPOSA cites the Commissioner of Police, COMPOL Molibeli, the Staff Officer to Commissioner of Police, the LMPS Human Resources Officer, the six promoted officers and the Attorney General as the respondents.
LEPOSA’s secretary general, Moraleli Motloli, made an affidavit to support the association’s claim.
“On 11 December 2017, a Memo published by the 1st respondent (COMPOL Molibeli) announced six vacancies in the Lesotho Mounted Police Service.
“In particular, the vacancies were in the ranks of Assistant Commissioner of Police, Senior Superintendent, Superintendent and Senior Inspector,” he states.
He alleges the candidates were only given seven days to apply, adding the memo that invited applications contained specifications that were couched in general terms “with a view to evade the legal obligations placed upon 1st respondent to base promotions in the LMPS on merit as envisaged by Regulation 7(2) of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (Administration) Regulations 2003 as amended”.
He adds: “Important and verifiable considerations such as training and educational qualifications were deliberately left out in the job specifications even for the senior positions such as the Assistant Commissioner of Police.”
He further says promotion of the said officers were made in the middle of the financial year – something that he argued was indicative of the fact that the 1st respondent had his own preferences who cannot even wait for beginning of the new financial year.