Another famo star shot dead

MASERU — Popular famo music producer Daniel Rampipi, 42, was shot dead by a lone gunman in Mafeteng last Thursday.

The killing comes barely three months after famo musicians and producers signed a peace deal to stop the war.

Rampipi was a member of the Seakhi group that is locked in a vicious gang war with a rival faction called Terene.

The two gangs are reportedly fighting over markets.

Police spokesman confirmed that a 42-year-old music producer had been killed in Mafeteng.

“A 42-year-old man from Qalabane in Mafeteng was shot and killed on Thursday morning in Mafeteng town,” Masupha said.

“It is suspected that the deceased was shot dead by a 32-year-old man who is a member of Terene,” he said.

He said the suspect handed himself over to the police after the shooting.

Masupha said the police later recovered three shells of 9mm bullets at the scene.

Rampipi was travelling in a 4×4 vehicle in Mafeteng with two other men when they were suddenly ambushed by the gunman.

One of the unidentified men, who was with Rampipi, was shot and injured during the attack.

He was treated and discharged at a local hospital in Mafeteng.

The other man travelling with the pair escaped unscathed.

Tensions between the two rival musical groups rose dramatically during the festive season in December.

It is alleged that rival famo artists released CDs inciting violence during the period.

The message on all the CDs was aimed at hammering the fact that the war was not over.

Most of the lyrics on the CDs are allegedly laced with insults directed at rivals.

For example, a famo artist Maema who is from the Terene group released a CD that is titled Maema No 1.

The CD features a song by Mosotho Chakela, a feared  exiled singer who leads the Terene group from Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The song is titled Lokolla Chakela.

In the song Chakela complains about an unnamed young “boy” who he says is “as ugly as a monkey”.

He says he is angry because the “boy has been insulting him through his music”.

Chakela says although he had agreed with members of his group to keep the peace, their rivals had flouted the peace agreement.

“I tried to ignore him because I consider him as my younger brother,” Chakela says in the controversial song.

Chakela, who is a member of the All Basotho Convention party, fled to Bloemfontein, South Africa, following political disturbances in Lesotho in 2007.

Masupha said the police were worried by the ongoing killings in Mafeteng.

He urged the warring gangs to stop the killings as they were not benefiting anyone.

A meeting called by the police in October saw the Terene and Seakhi groups agreeing to make peace and stop the killings. 

They also suggested that after a CD was released it should go through the Lesotho Music Rights Association to ensure that it did not have vulgar or offensive language.

But all that has been confined to history now as the musicians and producers continue to kill each other.

At least 100 famo musicians and producers have been murdered in South Africa and Lesotho over the past two years.

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