. . . demands Commissioner Letsoepa’s response to allegations of corrupt recruitment
THE Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA) says Police Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa should respond to allegations by former Police minister Monyane Moleleki that the recruitment of personnel in the country’s security agencies was fraught with corruption and partisanship.
The police trade union has also demanded a swift disbursement of Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) members’ salaries and an explanation for the delay.
Mr Moleleki who leads the opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD), last week sensationally accused the seven parties in the outgoing coalition government of corruptly handing out posts in the country’s security agencies to their supporters.
The AD leader was once deputy leader of the governing coalition’s main party, Democratic Congress (DC), claimed he was part of “a corrupt act” of enlisting 250 police recruits from the seven parties’ supporters to undergo training at the Police Training College (PTC) last year.
The other governing alliance parties include the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC), Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), Basotho Congress Party (BCP), National Independent Party (NIP) and the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP).
“I am one of the people within government that made 22 000 young men and women of this country to wait for long hours in the sun with hope they would get jobs when we knew we already had our people listed somewhere for the police jobs,” he said in an interview with the Lesotho Times.
His allegations were subsequently dismissed by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Economic and Political Advisor, Fako Likoti who said: “Ntate Moleleki seems to be gathering everything and anything to portray government as bad as he could but the fact of the matter is that he cannot provide proof of what he is saying.
“For a person of his stature, who was a Police minister, he should know that he should provide evidence, especially for allegations as serious as this.”
And yesterday, LEPOSA Secretary-General, Inspector Moraleli Motloli said it was necessary for Commissioner Letsoepa to comment on the allegations “so as to avoid further damage to the institution’s reputation”.
“The Commissioner’s competency and that of his advisory board (Commissioner’s Advisory Board) are questionable and at stake. The police can’t be used as a political tool,” Inspector Motloli said.
Inspector Motloli also called for the swift disbursement of police officers’ salaries, saying: “As LEPOSA we demand a thorough and convincing explanation of what caused the delay of the police salaries and this means we don’t need any technical explanations.
“We have gone through a lot of suffering and humiliation at the hands of the Commissioner.
“The Commissioner and his advisory board should have foreseen that there would be such delays given the string of unbudgeted promotions without cabinet’s approval. We demand answers and we want the police management to pay all interest accrued by the police officers while they awaited their salaries.”
Inspector Motloli also accused the police management of being “provocative,” adding, there was “political meddling in the affairs of the police as some of those recruited were not well vetted and not qualified”.
For his part, Commissioner Letsoepa told this publication that he had not received any communication from LEPOSA.
“LEPOSA have not come to me pertaining to these issues and the last time we communicated we had a very warm meeting where we ironed out our differences,” the Compol said.
He also apologised to the police officers for the salaries delay, adding: “It was communicated to them that there were some technical problems at the Finance Ministry and they would be getting their salaries on Tuesday.”
“We do apologise for the inconvenience.”
On the issue of Mr Moleleki’s corruption claims, Commissioner Letsoepa said the former minister flip flopped on the issue and hence his credibility was suspect.
“It is quite strange that Ntate Moleleki who was once the Minister of Police denied that recruitment was done politically and now that he is no longer a part of the system he says that there was corruption,” he said.
“It leaves a lot to be desired and I can only say the people should judge now that he wants them to believe what he is saying. This has now been turned into a political game.”