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Something fishy in the forces

The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) has disputed working with the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) Rapid Response Team which was recently formed to help communities with crime response.

This comes in sharp contrast with what LDF Public Affairs Officer Captain Sakeng Lekola said that the LDF response team works hand-in-glove with the Police.

“We work together with the police by handing over people suspected of doing certain crimes after Respond Team has gotten them,” he said

He said when the police get tip-offs and think they will delay to respond, they let them know and to help and vice versa.

“There are good working relations between us,” he said.

On the contrary, LMPS Public Relations Officer (PRO) Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli declined to their having this kind of collaborations with the LDF.

“We have not talked about collaboration with the LDF and that is why it is only them who can respond on issues of the Rapid Response Team,” Mopeli said.

According to Lekola, over 10 criminals have been arrested since the formation of the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) Rapid Response Team.

He explained that the team was established after the LDF Commander realised that members of the public, especially those that live in the township villages of Maseru live in fear because of the rampant criminal activities that take place around them.

“The response team was formed to help the LMPS on their mandate to curb crimes in the country,” he said.

Lekola stated that, there are already many successes achieved by the team working together with the Police.

“Through the team, a criminal hub at Ha Tsolo was found and in it a lot of stolen household equipment, LDF uniform that was reported missing by a member of LDF who reside at Ha Tsolo, illegal firearms and suspects were found and arrested”

He said another hub was found at Ha Abia, where also LDF uniforms and stolen household equipment were found.

Lekola warned that the LDF Rapid Response Team only uses 56848491 number for tip offs saying people should not use any other number else.

During the demonstration by the Team on April 14th, Captain Pali Hlehlisi also the Deputy Commander of the Rapid Response Team indicated that they work together with the Police as well as the nation through tip offs.

According to the Lesotho Defense Force Act of 1996 section 5 (c), the Defense Force shall be employed in the maintenance of essential services including maintenance of law and order and prevention of crime and such other duties as may from time to time, be determined by the Minister.

If crime prevention is a social good and not a matter of personal institutional shine and/or self-aggrandizement why aren’t the forces really collaborating and not give us differing accounts on such a simple matter? Unless something is really fishy!!

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