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Thabane preaches sermon of hard work and honesty at police parade

Two hundred and forty seven LMPS recruits graduated on Thursday.
Two hundred and forty seven LMPS recruits graduated on Thursday.

‘Mantoetse Maama

The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) has boosted its personnel following last Thursday’s graduation of 247 recruits at a colourful pass-out parade held at the Police Training College (PTC) in Maseru.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who is also the Minister of Defence, Police and National Security, was the key speaker at the ceremony, which was also addressed by the Police Principal Secretary (PS), Refiloe Matekane.

LMPS Commissioner, Khothatso Tšooana, and other senior members of the service, also spoke at the gathering.
In his address, Dr Thabane implored the new officers to respect the Lord, their profession and the public, to ensure Lesotho becomes a crime-free nation.
“Who, among you, does not fear the Lord, or obey the voice of His Servant, walks in darkness and has no light? Let that person trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his or her God.
“Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with firebrands, walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have set ablaze. This, you will have from my hand: you will lie down in torment,” Dr Thabane said, as he quoted the Bible’s Book of Isaiah.

“These words warn us that the fire we light to hurt others, will, at the end, burn us. It is ideal that today, we are gathered here to witness that government has increased the number of police officers due to the big challenge of crime in our country, and government cannot tolerate such a condition.

“Lesotho should be viewed as a peaceful country. Everything that we do as individuals and in partnership, should help us attain peace and the country should be free of crime.
“Government will do whatever it takes to make sure every Mosotho is protected.
“People should live without fear of crime and not only by increasing the number of police but also giving them the equipment they need to assist them in their duty.
“To make things easy for the Commissioner of Police and his assistants, the coalition government has worked on a number of issues related to their duty, and among them, is a new structure for the service.
“In addition, the current PTC will soon become the Police Academy. The government is going to construct new buildings for the Academy, where the police will get their regular training, and also do courses they used to travel outside the country for.”

Dr Thabane also pledged to ensure the police are adequately equipped to fight crime irrespective of where it takes place in Lesotho.
“We know the most dangerous crime takes place in the hard-to-reach mountainous regions of our country. This is where stock-theft is very high because
the police find it difficult to access such areas.
“That is why we need to get airplanes for the LMPS, so they can reach areas that horses and vehicles find difficult to access, and where criminals end up hiding due to their remoteness.
“In addition to helping the police combat stock-theft, government will soon acquire machines that can identify the origins of meat, even if that meat is in a butchery.
“These machines can even identify the animal even when the meat is in a pot and being cooked. All this will be aimed at eradicating stock-theft from our midst.
“To you the new constables, you have been receiving training for the past six months and hope you will be able to deliver from what you have learned.
“In addition, you should continue learning and avoid getting your training from the bars.”

Mr Matekane, in his address, said when he became PS early this year, he was warned by Dr Thabane that he was going to work with people who had struggled for resources for such a long time.
“The prime minister said I was going to work with people who have been struggling and abandoned for a long time. But he also said I should remember these words that say: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. I joined these offices with trust in the Lord, who can do anything because he owns the world,” Mr Matekane said.
“The LMPS has been working under very difficult conditions, with inadequate uniform and equipment. With the courage of the prime minister and his love for the police community, God saw his wish to help change your lives for the better.
“Trust me, under this coalition government (comprising Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention {ABC}, Lesotho Congress for Democracy {LCD} and Basotho National Party {BNP}) your lives will change for the better; the equipment you require to perform your duties will be made available because the prime minister is working
hard to make sure there is peace in Lesotho.
“You are the people who will help him bring that peace and stability to this country. But when your problems are being solved, you should reciprocate by working very hard so that you don’t disappoint him.”

In his address, Commissioner Tšooana urged the new constables to always abide by the law.
“There are some very difficult conditions that the police have to face due to the nature of their work of protecting the nation. Do thorough investigations in every criminal case that you will be handling and also respect the law and human rights.
“Go out there and be real police officers and don’t just be concerned about looking good in your new uniform.
“Again, you should not take part in party politics, as you will be serving the Basotho nation as a whole.
“On behalf of the LMPS, I would like to thank the government for the new rank and salary structure, 189 new vehicles that we have been provided with and the success in re-arresting ritual-murder suspect, Lehlohonolo

Scott (who escaped from the Maseru Central Prison in 2012 and was re-arrested in South Africa in April this year).”
Acting Commissioner of Police-Operations and Director Training, Bohang-Lintle Phasumane, on her part, said four of the recruits had dropped out before the completion of the course due to various reasons.
“When they started, they were 251, but some left due to various reasons. These new constables went through a very tough training so that they will be able work hard, as expected of them in their daily duties,” ACP Phasumane said.

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