POLICE on Friday seized over 600 famo music CDs and DVDs in three simultaneous operations held in Maseru, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek.
According to police spokesperson, Clifford Molefe, the operations sought to rid the country of music with provocative lyrics sparking violence, which has led to loss of lives and destruction of property over recent months.
Lesotho has been rocked by famo-related killings and violence due to a bloody turf war among the genre’s various gangs.
The groups insult each other in their songs, resulting in violent and often fatal clashes which have also claimed the lives of innocent people with nothing to do with the music or battle for supremacy.
Superintendent Molefe said the three operations were meant to deal with the “root cause” of the violence hence the confiscation of the music. Superintendent Molefe also said the police would not hesitate to take action against anyone promoting such music.
“The operations were intended to remove the insulting, threatening and abusive famo music which has resulted in people being killed in some cases,” Superintendent Molefe said.
“We confiscated 45 CDs and DVDs in Mafeteng, 26 in Mohale’s Hoek and 565 in Maseru. The CDs and DVDs were taken from individuals and businesses and also seized from private vehicles.”
Sup Molefe emphasised the police did not target any particular famo group, insisting they confiscated CDs produced by the Terene, Seakhi, Mahana Puso, Tonado and Phula-Bobete groups.
“All of the groups have played a significant role in the violence that has emanated from the famo turf wars, and we are treating them equally,” he said.
“These are not once-off operations, but just the beginning. We are going to clean our streets of these provocative lyrics.”
Similar operations, the police spokesperson said, would also be carried out in other districts.
“The operation started in Maseru, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek because of the popularity of famo music in these districts. But like I said, it is going to spread to other parts of the country because we have to end this violence which has cost this nation so much over recent years”.
The police also made arrests during the operations for various offences.
Meanwhile, Sup Molefe also condemned an incident on Tuesday in which students from Mafeteng-based high school, St Johns, were allegedly harassed by some Seakhi gang members for wearing their yellow uniform.
The Seakhi gang members took issue with the yellow colour that is associated with the Terene group’s Seanamarena blanket.
“Schoolchildren have now been roped into these famo turf wars and harassed for merely wearing their yellow uniforms,” he said.
“Just this week, St Johns High School students were harassed and asked if they were ‘the enemy’ by some famo gang members because of their yellow uniforms.”
He said they also deployed members of the Special Operations Unit (SOU) in Mafeteng to curb any incidents of violence.
“The deployment of the SOU has made been a huge difference, and reduced the number of killings in Mafeteng,” Sup Molefe said.