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Time is up for Molibeli!



THIS week I am making a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro to dismiss Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli. It has become increasingly clear that Compol Molibeli is a failed experiment and must now leave. I understand though that he played a pivotal role in ousting former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, which directly benefited the current Prime Minister. For goodness sake, Compol Molibeli has overstayed his welcome and it is time for him to go. Football fans used to say that you could always tell if a football referee had had a good game if the spectators didn’t notice his involvement in the match. The logic for this is that the referee has got all the decisions right, allowed the game to flow and did nothing to spark controversy. I suspect that logic could be applied to the police and its commissioners. We know they are there, we know they are making decisions, we know they have power and authority but we don’t really want or need to notice them going about their business. It is one thing to direct strict application of the law; it is entirely another to undertake that in doing so, wrong actions will be ignored. Our democracy is on shaky grounds if policing is controlled by someone apparently lacking in judgment or understanding of the long and proud status of the office of Compol in our society. So it comes as no surprise that this week several incidents happened at the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS). On Monday November 15, the Police Commissioner had a press conference to justify some of the acts happening in the police service. I do not know how he was viewed by his officers or how effectively he managed the county’s police budget. But, just like that football referee, he was noticed – and not in a good way. This list is not exclusive but here are some of the issues that put Compol Molibeli squarely under public scrutiny. At the press conference the Compol justified the detention of Senior Inspector Teboho Molia, who is the current President of Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA). He told the nation that LEPOSA’s president was detained because he is a suspect in the guns that went missing at LEPOSA. What is of interest is that the Compol was the President of LEPOSA when the gun scheme was launched in the association. But he is detaining the current President who authorised the audit of the gun scheme. The Compol’s decision defies logic. I do not understand why they never detained the LEPOSA committee that initiated the gun scheme. Just like that football referee, the Compol was noticed and not in a good way. Another incident happened last week on Sunday 14 November when the police officers arrested, harassed and beat up a 357 FM presenter Lebese Molati. Molati is accused of talking to LEPOSA PRO Mofokeng James Mofokeng, who is in exile. It appears as if Compol Molibeli wants to dictate to the media who they can talk to. I personally condemn the attack on journalists. I do not think it is right. The government of Lesotho should hold accountable the officers responsible for harassing and attacking the media to send a signal that such behaviour will not be tolerated. I listened to 357 FM on November 15 and Compol Molibeli was invited to give his side of the story after Lebese’s testimony but the Police Commissioner pretended not to know anything about the police officers’ attack on the media practitioner. Molibeli has definitely overstayed his welcome as Police Commissioner. He has become a law unto himself. Just like that football referee, the Compol was noticed but not in a good way. Perhaps it’s time to turn back the clock. If Commissioner Molibeli were an honourable man, he would have taken a leave of absence last year after being fired by his boss. Commissioner Molibeli refused to be fired by former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. Not as an admission of guilt, but as an acknowledgement that he could no longer serve his former boss. How can a Police Commissioner, Military Commander or Director of Intelligence impose their service on the Prime Minister? Instead he started a campaign against his former boss and the first lady by issuing serious criminal charges. This is where the All Basotho Convention (ABC) double standards will shock you. It was not permissible for Lieutenant General (Lt-Gen) Tlali Kamoli to refuse to vacate his position but admissible for Police Commissioner Molibeli to impose his services on the Prime Minister. Nevertheless, Molibeli defiantly remained in office, brushing off the reasons behind his dismissal as politically motivated dirty tricks, a ridiculous assertion indeed. Molibeli is a failed and expensive experiment that has politicised policing at a great cost, both in financial and reputational terms. He has overstayed his welcome, and it’s time for him to go. My position on this issue has nothing to do with Molibeli’s politics. If he were an ABC member or Democratic Congress (DC) member or Basotho National Party (BNP) or anyone else in a position of power, I would still call for his resignation. These are serious mistakes and show that Molibeli is unfit to serve in public office. It’s time for Molibeli to step down. Ramahooana Matlosa

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