MASERU — The Mafeteng Police District Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Moshe Raleting said they would invade initiation schools even with uninitiated troops if push comes to a shove.
Talking to the Sunday Express yesterday, Raleting said the situation involving numerous murder instances at initiation school pass-out ceremonies was worrisome hence called for intervention.
“We have noticed a recurring trend of murder incidents occurring at pass-out ceremonies in the district so we are concerned and will accordingly take necessary measures no matter how drastic to nip it in the bud,” Raleting said.
According to Raleting they will hold a series of gatherings on crime prevention for traditional healers, owners of initiation schools as well as principal chiefs next week.
He said it was at the gatherings where police would encourage stakeholders to ensure that the trend ends, failing which they would be forced to use their human resources in a manner they saw fit to curb the crisis.
“We have currently been deploying only ex-initiates into the actual schooling area while those who have not attended way-laid the older initiates outside such campuses hence succeeded in getting the murder weapons, but if the trend persists we will deploy whomever we choose even within the schooling area” he said.
Raleting said there was no law restraining police from going to some places in the country, adding that initiation school arenas have been avoided “just as a way of respecting our culture”.
The gatherings will kick-off at Tšakholo on Tuesday, then proceed to Tebang on Wednesday, followed by Likhoele on Thursday.
He said the exercise will be carried out following five murder incidents that occurred since last year at graduation ceremonies held in various places within the district.
Raleting said in December and January they seized dangerous weapons that included four spears, 23 knives and 73 sticks and five illegal firearms.
However, he said they are not against the initiation schools as police since it is a cultural practice, but they are only against criminal activities normally committed at the schools, adding culture should be treated in a very respectful manner.