…as police announce Masupha’s return
The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) has taken legal action against organisers of Wednesday’s street march against government’s alleged failure to ensure stability in the country, Acting Commissioner of Police Keketso Monaheng has said .
The protest saw All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) supporters marching from ‘Mathabiseng Convention Centre to the BNP Centre to highlight the “deteriorating” security situation in the country and government’s alleged failure to convince their leaders—who fled to South Africa last month fearing for their lives—to return and that they would be safe.
The protesters had wanted to submit a list of their grievances to Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili at the end of their march and hoped to do the handover at King Moshoeshoe I Monument Park in central Maseru.
However, the protesters had been informed by the police that their permit to march from Convention Centre had been cancelled due to security reasons—and that they should now start the protest from Pope John Paul II Monument in Lower Thetsane, which is about a kilometre away.
But with the police swarming the Convention Centre area, the protesters still went ahead with the march, creating havoc along the Main South Road through which the estimated 3000-strong throng passed en-route to the BNP Centre. BNP Youth League spokesperson Manama Letsie then read out the petition the marchers had wanted to submit to the premier.
However, Acting Commissioner Monaheng on Friday told a media conference held at Police Headquarters that the protest-organisers would be dragged before the courts, while action would also be taken against members of the police who failed to disperse the marchers.
“The police who were assigned to provide security during the march failed to dismiss the protesters from ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre because they were expected to be at Pope John Paul II Monument. These were the changes that had been made by the police regarding the permit. The police had to make sure that the protesters followed the authentic route given through the permit.
“However, I don’t want to go into details of the issue because the LMPS authorities have already taken the matter to the courts,” Mr Monaheng said.
Meanwhile, the Acting Police Commissioner also used Friday’s media briefing to announce the return of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Masupha Masupha as Head of the Police Operations Department. DCP Masupha had allegedly accepted to go on early retirement early this year for unknown reasons.
“DCP Masupha is back as Deputy Commissioner of Police – Operations and DCP Holomo Molibeli still holds his position of DCP-Crime Investigations Services,” Acting Commissioner Monaheng said.
DCP Masupha would not comment when asked about the latest developments.
“Talk to the PRO; I am not authorised to speak with the media,” he said.
On his part, police spokesperson, Clifford Molefe said DCP Masupha had returned to the LMPS early in the week.
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