Female cops march against women murders

LITEBOHO MOLEKO

MASERU – The Lesotho Mountain Police Service Women’s Network in the Maseru district this week commemorated International Women’s Month by launching a crime prevention campaign – marching from the police headquarters to the Lifefo sports ground at Ha Tsolo in the outskirts of the Maseru city. The march follows the recent murder of a woman employed as an economic planner in the Ministry of Development Planning as well as numerous other killings of women reported across the country.

Speaking to Public Eye following the event, Deputy Commissioner of Police Dr Mahlape Morai said the theme of this campaign was to raise awareness on violence towards minority groups. She said their main aim is to work on limiting crime such as human trafficking, domestic violence, gender-based violence and child abuse.

Furthermore, Morai said police are working hard to stop women abuse and murders that are still happening but is hopeful that they are on the right track to fight crime and they pray they manage to fully put a stop to it. She also expressed remorse about victims going through this trauma and those that have lost their loved ones due to these crimes also pointed out that it is a disgrace during their reign that such crimes happened.

Morai added that police are working hard to regain the trust of the nation and to avert gender-based violence. Speaking during the march, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP), Bohang Lintle Lerotholi Phasumane, said they are marking this women’ month with heavy hearts because of the killings of women and children. “Enough with women abuse, enough with murders,” she said.

She made a plea to women to report crime because this will assist them to get justice and for the law to take its course so that crime stops. SAPC Phasumane noted that if it’s not women and children being killed it’s their spouses which continues to be more heart-breaking to widowed women as they are now bound to be the only breadwinners. Women do not have strength to fight physical fights but they are mostly prayer warriors, she added.

Senior Superintendent (SSP) ‘Malichaba Talasi spoke about the importance of community policing. In addition, she said police should not fight crime on their own because they will not succeed as these crimes do not take place during their presence but in the presence of the community hence they should work hand-in-hand with the public. SSP Talasi also said that they will intent to set up community policing fora in every village and that, every individual will take part in it. She said it should not only be those who are chosen to be on the committee but that the leader of such a committee should be the chief.

If the public understand what community policing is, crime will decrease as the public will work together, she added. She advised the public to break the barrier between the police and the community so they work together to reduce the alarming rate of crime. For her part Senior Inspector Mojabeng Mokotjomela said cases of domestic abuse are worrying and that they happen in the presence of minors. Minors copy this behaviour from their parents and later the trauma pushes them to join gangs.

She advised victims of abuse to speak out and stop tolerating abuse because this increases the number of abuse cases that lead to murders so that they arrest suspects who will be charged in court and punished. This will limit cases of abuse totally. This campaign attracted the interest and participation of Legal Aid, the Lesotho chapter of Women in Law in Southern Africa and the Office of the Deputy Principal Secretary in the Ministry Development Planning Teboho Malise ’Mokela and other associations.

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