MASERU – The newly appointed Acting Commissioner of Police, Dr. Mahlape Morai this week presented an update to the nation on her strategy for leading the Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) into the next phase. Having served the LMPS for 22 years, Morai acknowledged the persistent challenges posed by criminal activities, including stock theft, gender-based violence, and murder.

However, she affirmed the LMPS’s unwavering commitment to eradicating these criminal activities, emphasising their primary role in preventing such incidents. She was addressing the media for the first time since assuming office during the weekly press conference held at the Police Headquarters, where updates on weekly criminal activities and arrests are typically provided.

Morai outlined plans to address the challenges the organisation meets by revitalising the LMPS’s relationship with the nation, recognising it as crucial for success in reducing the high crime rate. She emphasised the proactive approach of the LMPS, stating that they would actively engage with communities, appearing in various villages and on the streets to instil hope, provide protection, and revive police operations.

Acknowledging prevalent issues such as murder cases and stock theft, Morai highlighted the LMPS’s determination to change the situation for the protection and peace of Basotho. She introduced the LMPS’s Cybercrime Unit aimed at combating fraud and addressing online insults hidden behind fake usernames.

Morai appealed for material donations and increased knowledge to enhance the LMPS’s capacity to fight cybercrime effectively. Addressing the need to protect vulnerable groups, the new police chief emphasised the LMPS’s commitment to strengthening their office dedicated to individuals with disabilities.

She urged Basotho to collaborate with the LMPS by providing tips on criminal activities, citing examples such as stock theft, where livestock is often taken to South Africa. She outlined plans to use a helicopter to stay ahead of criminals, particularly in preventing the theft of Basotho’s livestock.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Moqhebi Likhama highlighted the LMPS’s robust relationship with their counterparts in South Africa, emphasising their collective efforts to locate and recover stolen Basotho livestock. Likhama assured the community that these collaborations would be strengthened to ensure the consistent recovery of stolen property.

Morai assumed the role of acting Commissioner of Police on February 24, succeeding the former Compol, Holomo Molibeli, who retired upon the expiry of his contract. Molibeli had served as the head of the police since 2017. Morai is the second female to lead the LMPS, following in the footsteps of ’Malejaka Evelyn Letooane, who served as the head of the police from 2005 to 2012.

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