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Police boss faces contempt grilling



MASERU – POLICE Commissioner Holomo Molibeli is in trouble once again after the High Court this week ordered him to give reasons why he should not be jailed for contempt of court.

High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Mokoko made the order on Tuesday after he was told that Commissioner Molibeli had failed to comply with his order to provide his deputy with bodyguards.

Deputy Commissioner Beleme Lebajoa rushed to Justice Mokoko’s court in June last year seeking an order interdicting his boss from transferring him from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) to the Finance and Infrastructure Department (FID).

Apart from seeking to transfer Deputy Commissioner Lebajoa, the police boss had taken away his bodyguards, a move that incensed his deputy.

Commissioner Molibeli partly honoured Justice Mokoko’s order by keeping DCP Lebajoa as head of the CID. He allegedly failed to reinstate his bodyguards.

On Tuesday this week, Justice Mokoko ordered Commissioner Molibeli to appear before to explain why he should not be committed to prison for contempt.

DCP Lebajoa had told Justice Mokoko in his court papers that his boss had acted unilaterally and outside his powers by transferring him to the FID.

He said it was only the police minister who has powers to transfer senior officers, not the commissioner.

He also told the court that apart from usurping the minister’s powers, Commissioner Molibeli had ignored the then Police Minister Lepota Sekola’s clear directive that he should not be transferred.

DCP Lebajoa also accused Commissioner Molibeli of establishing a parallel team of investigators that reported directly to him, bypassing him as the head of the CID.

The parallel team of criminal investigators, DCP Lebajoa told Justice Mokoko, was under the command of his junior who openly told him that he did not report to him.

He also complained in his court papers that Commissioner Molibeli used to transfer officers in his office without even notifying him.

He accused Commissioner Molibeli of dismantling the Theft Detection and Counter Robbery Crime Unit, which was under his command as the CID boss, and transferred 30 police officers who were specifically assigned to that unit.

DCP Lebajoa complained that his boss had done this without even notifying him.

This is not the first High Court order that the Commissioner has ignored.

In 2021 he faced a similar charge of contempt after he was ordered by Justice Molefi Makara to reverse his decision of promoting 178 police officers.

The Lesotho Police Staff Association had challenged Commissioner Molibeli’s decision to promote the officers.

DCP Lebajoa was one of those officers who had been promoted and he was from the rank of inspector.

’Malimpho Majoro

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