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Matekane injects M2million to LDF

Mafa Moleko

The Lesotho’s well celebrated business tycoon Sam Matekane has been on a spending spree this past two weeks showering the law enforcement and security entities with uniform.

Matekane dressed 1000 Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) with new uniform inter alia; boots, caps and uniform. This Tuesday the selfless mogul visited the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), disbursing a whopping M2million to pamper the army side with 1000 uniforms, an ambulance, 11 wheel chairs, 16 heaters, 4 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, Cardiotocography (CTG) machine from his Sam Matekane Foundation.

Speaking at the ceremony that was held at Ratjomose barracks in Maseru this week, Minister of Defence Halebonoe Setšabi said in his period of being a minister of security, he realised that the forces are in need of many logistics.

He said Lesotho is blessed to have patriotic people like Matekane who selflessly serves the country to the high level. He added that His Majesty King Letsie III needs more people of his calibre that are able to use their resources to benefit the country.

“I want to thank the Sam Matekane Foundation for the initiative they are making for the country. We really appreciate Mr Matekane for the love he has for Basotho,” he said.

He mentioned the incident of electricity cut off in the barracks as one of indicators of the struggles the defence is going through. He said as the government they will have to work hard to enhance the financial standard of the defence.

The LDF Commander Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela said the LDF last bought uniform for the forces in 2015 and since then, the forces have been using their old uniforms and dressing in different ways which breaks their unity.

He said uniform affects the effectiveness of the forces and in its shortage drops their confidence and will soon affect the discipline of the army.

“We realised in many areas of our duty that we need to join hands with the private sector in order to reach the goal of security in Lesotho.

“I always find different things every time I inspect them and I am afraid that it affects their unity and will later affect their discipline and recovery might become a mountain to climb,” he said.

Letsoela further requested the Minister of Defence to fight for the prioritisation of the military to beef-up the security of the country.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Sam Matekane Foundation, Matekane said they waited from last year to get this equipment and faced challenges due to the restrictions of the Covid-19.

He mentioned that Lesotho learned from the Covid-19 pandemic that it needs to equip itself more in order to battle the virus to save the lives of Basotho.

“During the time of Covid-19 we saw and realised that we are not fit enough to face the pandemic if we are not willing to help ourselves,” he said.

He said LDF has a great responsibility of fighting crime in even in the villages to restore hope for Basotho hence he believes the donations will simplify the work of the military health services and strengthen the forces to do their work with courage.

For her part, the Assistant Chief of Staff Military Health Services, Brigadier Matumelo Ramotlohi, mentioned that the military health service went through worst experiences last year as Covid-19 ran rampage.

She said so worse was their struggle that they had to abandon their military principles to knock on Matekane’s door for help as their facilities were outstripped. 

She said they were shy to ask for more although they actually needed more resources, although Matekane directed that they should add to their list of requests.

She said that their logistical needs sum up to M2million including the laundry dryer, laundry machine and patient stretcher which have not yet arrived.

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