‘Crime rate keeping investors away from Lesotho’

. . . as country top the charts in Hall of Infamy


MASERU – Lesotho is struggling to attract investors due to the high rate of crimes in the country, Pitso Tsenase, Liaison Manager Lesotho Smart Partnership Hub (Prime Minister’s Office), has said. He was speaking in an interview with Public Eye during a Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders Association (CRROA) crime prevention and reintegration event this week.

Tsenase indicated that the Smart Partnership Hub works hand in hand with communities especially to assist members to create small projects to make a living such as broiler breeder farming or vegetable farming. This is part of the overall initiative to reduce crime.

He said prevalence of crime could also blamed on the communities themselves which have the tendency of stigmatising former offenders. The hub works with those small projects in communities to alleviate hunger, he said, adding that they have six specialised links, the most prominent of which is social issues.

“Through the social issue link we have, among others, the issue of unwelcomed ex-prisoners in communities which often leads them to commit crimes. We try by all means to reduce the stigma by sensitising communities as well as urging them to work together to reduce high rate of crimes.

“We see to it that we sensitise community members to form good relationships with ex-prisoners to break this long chain of crimes by seeing to it that they are welcoming to them.

“We have about 152 active projects in the country which we are mediating for communities that have collaborated and formed projects. We usually urge community members to form support groups so that we as the mediators can link them with relevant stakeholders as we do not have a specific project to help groom projects. We do not implement, we only mediate,” he said. 

Lesotho Smart Partnership Hub is a way of bringing together people who share an informed belief in what technology can do to improve the lives of millions of people through socio-economic transformation.

Research shows that the Smart Partnership Hub was launched in Lesotho on November 8, 2000 by the then Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili who described it as a concept “based on sharing visions and values, ethical commitment, trust, transparency, and a sense of community and co-operative competition.”

The hub was launched to concretise the practice of the smart partnership approach in Lesotho, which was, among others meant to document examples of the smart practices, encourage formation of new ones, and popularise the smart partnership concept and practice, and its attributes towards the development and attainment of a stable, prosperous and self-reliant Lesotho.

The mountain kingdom of Lesotho has the sixth highest murder rate in the world, according to a recent World Population Review report.

While the global average murder rate is seven per 100,000 people, Lesotho’s rate is almost six times higher at 41.25, leaving Lesotho as only safer than El Salvador (82.84 per 100,000 people), Honduras (56.52), Venezuela (56.33), Virgin Islands (49.26) and Jamaica (47.01).

Lesotho, with a population of just over two million, has more homicides than countries in conflict such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Mozambique.

DRC has a homicide score of 13.55, and Mozambique 3.4, while Lesotho’s much more populous neighbour, South Africa, has 33.97 murders per 100,000 people, which leaves the mountain kingdom as the only Southern African Development Community (SADC) country in the top 10 for highest rates of murder.