Request for COMPOL to intervene in Covid protocol breach



MASERU – Commissioner of Police (COMPOL), Holomo Molibeli, has been asked to intervene in the cabinet ministers’ noncompliance with the 2021 Public Health Regulations.

This follows the police decision not to investigate public health breaches alleged to have happened at former army boss, Major General Metsing Lekhanya a fortnight ago.

A crowd higher than the 50 persons’ margin provided for by the law – Public Health Regulations, attended General Lekhanya’s funeral. In attendance were some cabinet ministers as well as the Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu.

No action was taken against the attendees or organizers of the said funeral. In terms of the Public Health Regulations, area chiefs, priests and families responsible for organizing a funeral service in contravention could be jailed for a period of up to six months or fined M5 000.

Two concerned youths, Kananelo Boloetse and Motsamai Mokotjo on January 29 reported the incidence at the Thetsane Police station and the Police Headquarters only to be told that “no criminal case can be opened because the regulations do not make a provision for state funerals.”

The response was communicated by Officer Commanding, Senior Superintendent Litsietsi Selimo who relayed the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) stance that Public Health Regulations do not make provisions for state funerals. No action has been taken against organisers and those who attended the funeral.

Dissatisfied with the response, the two youth have now involved lawyers in the matter and have requested the meeting with the police boss. They want the Commissioner to review a decision not to institute criminal proceedings against individuals “who clearly violated the law and clearly put the rest of the nation at danger…”

M.S. Legal Minds Chambers this week wrote to Commissioner Molibeli requesting a meeting with their clients Boloetse and Mokotjo within the next 14 days.

“Our clients would like to have a meeting with you at the earliest opportunity within 14 days, at a time and a date convenient to you regarding their grievances as they believe you will pursue the ends of justice without fear or favor as demonstrated previously during your tenure as the Commissioner of Police,” reads the letter in part.

Narrating events of their encounter with police when they first sought to open the case, Boloetse and Mokotjo say they were referred to the District Police Commanding Officer Maseru Urban, Senior Superintendent Selimo as the complaint involved high ranking government officials.

Selimo first said due to the figures involved, he needed to consult his Superior – Assistant Commissioner Hlalele Rampai. After the consultations, Selimo is reported to have informed the complainants that no case can be opened against the offenders because of the regulations do not make provisions for state funerals.

Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and King Letsie III did not attend the funeral in person and delivered their addresses virtually. Majoro said he was “concerned” about the disregard for Public Health Regulations at Lekhanya’s funeral

Government has recently reiterated its stance about keeping funerals attendance at 50 persons per funeral as provided by the law. A circular by Local Government and Chieftainship Minister urges members of the public to strictly adhere to the funeral guidelines in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. The circular was also accompanied by guidelines on how area chiefs should conduct funeral proceedings and going as far as recommending that rural places far from mortuaries should bury corpses without taking them to a mortuary.

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