‘We have become a nation at war with itself’
Thaba-Bosiu Principal Chief, Senator Khoabane Theko, yesterday said Lesotho had become “a nation at war with itself because of political differences” which he said could only be resolved through “a national dialogue”.
Senator Theko made the remarks during the burial of 26-year-old Martha Kota-Moramotse — the daughter-in-law of All Basotho Convention (ABC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Lithoteng, Lehlohonolo Moramotse.
Ms Kota-Moramotse was shot dead a fortnight ago as she drove into Mr Moramotse’s Ha Seoli residence at around 8pm. No one has been arrested in connection with the killing.
Addressing scores of mourners at Ms Kota-Moramotse’s burial in Ha Seoli, Senator Theko said it was time Basotho came together and held a national dialogue to iron out their differences instead of killing each other.
“We have become a nation at war with itself because of political differences and this is not right. It’s high time that we looked beyond our political differences, we don’t want to be like Rwanda, a country known for genocide over tribalism. We should be a united nation,” Senator Theko said.
He also said it was “sad” to see that politicians had allowed their differences to be so “inhumane” that even MPs could not even go and convey their condolences to a colleague who is in mourning, let alone sit side by side in parliament.
“This is not like us, this is not what Basotho are known for. I am greatly worried about this situation. We are just too divided and need to put this to an end. People shouldn’t be dying like this regardless of their political party colours. This incident and many others have angered us, we are deeply hurt,” Senator Theko said.
“We are very disappointed with the police service in their investigations into murders like this one. Our police are not delivering as expected and one begins to question their integrity as they have even failed to provide the aggrieved family with security to ensure their safety.”
Speaking on behalf of ABC MPs, Fako Moshoeshoe of Mabote Constituency said Basotho should “introspect and deeply reflect” on their conduct.
“Basotho; repent for your sins; murderers, ask for forgiveness for your deeds,” Mr Moshoeshoe said.
Mr Moshoeshoe also said it was surprising to see bullet-shells of different makes of weapons being collected from crime scenes on a regular basis “when it’s well-known that Lesotho does not manufacture guns”.
He continued: “Someone should know where those bullets are coming from and which institution they were supplied to.
“We are therefore, appealing to ABC supporters to pray for the security of their MPs as we are not safe at all.
“The time has come for the murderers to throw away their guns and tell those who have sent them that enough is enough.”
Police spokesperson Clifford Molefe yesterday said the police had an obligation to protect everyone in Lesotho which he said was what they were doing.
“We are doing as assigned and expected of us. Every Mosotho has a right to security and where the authority sees such need, orders are given to provide such protection,” said Superintendent Molefe.
He said if the police were seen not to be doing what was expected of them, the public was free to raise such complaints.
“To err is human and we would really like the public to help us do our job better and provide them with the expected services. Our doors are always open to suggestions and advice,” said Superintendent Molefe.