QUTHING – Former Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing has blamed the current coalition government for the sharp rise in the incidence of police brutality and torture in the country.
Speaking on Sunday in Quthing, Tele Constituency, Metsing who is the leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) said only a National Unity Government could cure this malady.
Metsing emphasised the police’s major twin roles are to maintain law and order and not to “kill other people like ants”.
He showed that more than 50 people had died at the hands of the police since the current coalition government took power.
“It cannot be that we have more than 50 people dying at the hands of the police ever since this coalition government took power.
“The current coalition had been given to rule until 2022, but our question still remains, should we keep quiet and watch when Basotho are killed like ants because of police brutality? “Ho tla be ho ts’olohile mali a makae pele re fihla ho 2022? Police officers who hurt other people should be face the wrath of the law.
“No human being is allowed to take law into his or her hands and kill another human being. The current records show that it is only in this coalition government where police brutality and torture have increased at an alarming rate.
“We want a government of National Unity because we have been governed by military rule and coalition governments and we have seen them failing. Hence why our country is still regarded as a least developing country and still depending on foreign aid,” Metsing noted.
According to Metsing, the LCD is big enough to be heard, and to reclaim constituencies it used to control, members of the party should band together and encourage more Basotho to join the party.
“If our members can join hands and work hard towards the unity of the party and get rid of divisions in the party, our party would grow,” said Metsing.
Narrating what he called some failures of the present coalition government, Metsing accused it of failing to address teachers’ genuine grievances, mismanagement of farmers’ wool and mohair products as well as nepotism when filling government posts.
He accused the current 4×4 coalition government of purging rivals from government posts and bypassing them for promotion.
“This coalition government has failed the nation a lot; one hundred National Security Services (NSS) members and other civil servants have been dismissed from their jobs for no reason and we need them to be given their jobs back.
“Does this mean that even the congress parties after winning elections should dismiss people they find in their jobs?”, said Metsing.
Nobabalo Mqwebethu, who is in her late 50s and has lived in Tele-Tele village all her life, said life had been a tough grind for the villagers because of myriad socio-economic problems, compounded by lack of infrastructure.
“We are caught up in a sticky situation in this place. There is no road or electricity. When we want to go to Quthing, we either walk to Tele road or hike as there is no taxi service in this place,” said Mqwebethu during the interview with Public Eye on Sunday.
She accused political parties of leading them up the garden path, saying none had fulfilled promises to develop their dirt poor village, perched in the backwaters of Quthing.