…”don’t push or I will snap”
BARELY a week after threatening to reveal damaging secrets about the First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane, prominent famo musician and All Basotho Convention (ABC) activist, Mosotho Chakela, is at it again.
Mr Chakela, whose real name is Rethabile Mokete, has warned unnamed famo rivals to refrain from plotting his assassination, saying although he would not want to take the law into his own hands, there could “come a time when we will lose our cool and snap”.
Mr Chakela issued the warning in an interview with the Lesotho Times this week.
The stern warning comes against the background of the recent arrest of a man in Qacha’s Nek who was allegedly on a mission to kill one of Mr Chakela’s lieutenants, Nteei Tšehlana.
Police Spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli recently confirmed the arrest, telling the Lesotho Times that, “a 33-year-old man of Tšakholo was on 6 May arrested by Qacha’s Nek police at a road block after he was found in possession of a brand new 9mm pistol with 16 rounds of ammunition”.
“The suspect shall remain in custody pending further investigations until he appears before the courts of law. He is facing a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and so far this is the only charge against him,” Supt Mopeli said.
But the controversial Mr Chakela is adamant that the suspect was on a mission to gun down one of his lieutenants in the latest instalment of the country’s long-running and deadly feuds pitting rival famo music factions.
Mr Chakela said he was tired of the mindless violence and gratuitous killings and earnestly yearned for peace. He said while he was ready to work with the police to end the violence, he would however, not allow his rivals to walk all over him.
“It is sad that there are still some people out there who still don’t want to live in harmony with others. If there is anything that I yearn for right now, it is peace and harmony among the famo singers.
“I have grown physically and psychologically and I know exactly what I want now. I want nothing but peace for all and that is why I am working closely with the police because I wouldn’t want to take the law into my own hands.
“These people are busy chasing after me and those close to me. But they should know that we know all their moves and if they know what is best for them they should refrain from testing us.
“There will come a time when we will lose our cool and snap and I am sure this is not what any one of them wants. We have had enough of these killings because we have seen that they are not healthy for us and our families. We have had enough,” Mr Chakela said.
He said he was aware of some people who were genuinely interested in peace and applauded them for informing them of the planned attacks against them like they did in the case of the illegal weapons suspect who was arrested in Qacha’s Nek.
“There are some people who really want peace and they are always giving us information ahead of all intended attacks. This helps us to be on the alert and notify the police like in this case of the man who was arrested in Qacha’s Nek.
“Some people are really tired and they have told me that they just want to live normal lives and make a living for their families. But still there are others who want to continue with their evil ways and even use others in their schemes. They should be warned that we know their every move.”
A fortnight ago, a bristling Chakela made waves on radio when he threatened to spill the beans on Ms Thabane and ‘Mampho Mokhele who last week resigned as Minister of Police and Public Security.
“I want to reprimand ‘Mampho Mokhele. I want to seriously reprimand the First Lady,” Mr Chakela said without elaborating. “I want to tell the world how she became a minister. How you are sitting there as minister,” Mr Chakela said in reference to Ms Mokhele.
Ms Mokhele’s resignation which came hot on the heels of Mr Chakela’s threats to expose her alleged secrets fueled speculation that she could have resigned in a desperate move to stave off the potentially damaging disclosures. She however, dismissed the speculation, saying she had resigned on the advice of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who had earmarked for a top post in the embassy in Ireland.
There had been speculation that Ms Mokhele was involved in fueling the famo killings, a charge that she denied in an interview with the Lesotho Times. (See story on Page 16).
This week, Mr Chakela refused to give details on his tiff with Ms Thabane and Ms Mokhele. He however, said he was willing to work with the police to end famo killings because he had realised that there were still some “good police officers” who worked diligently to fulfil their mandate of fighting crime.
“We have learnt the importance of doing things by the book and not taking the law into our own hands. We will work with some police officers who are ready to work with us but we don’t want anyone testing us.
“Those giving orders that others should be killed should know that we are watching them very closely and soon we will have no choice but to protect ourselves against them if they don’t want to do what is right and stop chasing us. All I want right now is peace and I shall attain it with those who want it,” Mr Chakela said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chakela’s lieutenant, Nteei Tšehlana has praised the Qacha’s Nek police for foiling what he says was an assassination mission against him.
“I know that the man who is now in custody was coming for me and I knew about his coming before he even arrived in Qacha’s Nek.
“I would like to laud the Qacha’s Nek police for always being on patrol and being vigilant. Had it not been for them I probably would have been killed. These (police) men and women in uniform are always on the watch, walking the streets and anyone one with ill intentions is sure to be nabbed.
“This is the fourth time that an attempt has been made on my life and with the help of the police I have been saved. Twice I have reported to the police and on another occasion the police tipped me to be on the watch. And now this fourth time someone is nabbed before they succeeded in their mission to kill me,” Mr Tšehlana said.