Clemency in illegal water connections



MASERU – The Minister of Water has asked for clemency from the police and judiciary for of all offenders fingered for illegal water connections.

Minister Nkaku Kabi said this during deliberations with community counsellors from Ha ‘Mantšebo, Ha Mohasoa, Ha Thaabe, Ha Jimisi, Matukeng, Ha ‘Mamookho, Ha Malataliana and the Metolong Authority  officials – a meeting in which water supply and illegal water connections on the main Metolong water supply pipe that runs through these villages.

“Water is life and an essential service, and I want to think those people that connect water pipes illegally do so because they are highly in need of water.

I have not yet sat down with my ministry and talked about this, but I think it is the right direction to take,” said Kabi

While conceding he has also not yet discussed the proposal with the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WASCO) the minister directed his Principal Secretary ‘Mamonyane Bohloko to write and forward this request to the Lesotho Mounted Police Service authorities as well as the judiciary.

“Advise them to immediately cease processes leading to the eventual prosecution or conviction of those found guilty of illegal connection of water supply,” Kabi instructed.  

The deputy minister in the same ministry, Lepota Sekola echoed Kabi’s sentiments, saying “It is very important that each and every household has water, more especially during this COVID-19 pandemic where the frequent washing of hands reduces the risk of infection.”

“It’s my first time being here and more importantly having this kind of meeting, this means from now on we will be working with the Counsellors to ease the pain of the community over water supply,” added PS Bohloko.

For their part, converged Counsellors said all they needed from government was reliable supply of clean drinking water, and that having had frequent meetings with the ministry and government over this issue it was time they (government and ministry) should admit they have been wrong all along.

They still sought clarity, however, on the reasons the Metolong Dam water pipes delivering water to the Southern part of Maseru are not being used to connect them on the water supply system.

“Disagreements over issues do not have to be construed as fights. But we have been patient, and time after time we have promised water connection, yet till today all has come to naught. We are, however, grateful to see this team here that includes the minister and his deputy as well as the PS giving us an assurance that we will get water…we are hopeful,” said chairperson, Sello Molise.

This year plans were to connect 124 families but only 48 have been serviced, because of shortage of finances, according to officials.

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