MASERU – Following yesterday’s publication of pictures and videos on Facebook in which former Prime Minister Tom Thabane and his wife Maesaiah were seen entertaining a large group of people without masks, a group of youths has expressed concern at the continued flouting of Covid-19 by prominent members of society.
This follows a similar breach by large numbers of government officials at the funeral of former premier Major General Metsing Lekhanya a few weeks back.
Mokotjo Motsamai, Moabi Matsepe, Kananelo Boloetsi, Maele ‘Neko, Take Tiiso and Sibongile Mapikitla have expressed concern that Lesotho is slowly but surely normalising anarchy.
On Monday, February 1, 2021, the group formally lodged a complaint with the police about the violation of lockdown regulations at the official funeral of former military ruler Major General Lekhanya that was held at Ha Ratjomose barracks in Maseru on 28 January 2021.
The funeral was broadcast live on Lesotho National Broadcasting Services (LNBS) and Lesotho Defense Force Facebook Page. Instead of taking action against those who violated lockdown regulations Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) defended them claiming Public Health (COVID-19 Risk Determination and Mitigation Measures) regulations are silent on official funerals.
The youths also wrote to Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro imploring him to do what is right as a matter of law, by taking disciplinary action against members of cabinet violating lockdown regulations. They are similarly urging LMPS to take immediate action against the former Prime Minister and his wife and those who visited them on Valentine’s Day for flouting regulations.
As a former Prime Minister and member of Parliament, Thabane and his wife as a former First Lady carry a special responsibility in setting a good example for Basotho who are having to sacrifice their livelihoods to curb the spread of the corona virus.
Primary school pupils have not been to school for 11 months now, while street vendors who are trying to make a living were removed from the streets. Businesses have had to shut down with many losing their jobs and livelihoods.
Condemning what they describe as double standards by LMPS and LDF, the youths argue that if ordinary citizens violate lockdown regulations they are assaulted and harassed by the same law enforcement agencies.
The youths warn that if police do not take any action on such violations of lockdown regulations, public trust in government’s ability to handle the Covid-19 pandemic will be irretrievably broken.
If Prime Minister Majoro s administration cannot ensure that everyone plays their part regardless of their status or privilege then authorities should remove all the restrictions and allow children go to school and all businesses to open, the youths say.