Call for famo crackdown

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

DETECTIVE Senior Inspector Motlatsi Mapola has called on communities to stop listening to famo music whose provocative lyrics trigger violence, which results in loss of lives and destruction of property.

Det Sen Insp Mapola, who is head of the Maseru Urban Serious Crime Unit, made the remark while addressing a highly attended public gathering held for the Tikoe and Ha Thetsane community on Sunday.

Lesotho has been rocked by famo-related killings and violence over recent months, prompting government to establish a committee to deal with the issue.

The fighting is between famo music groups which insult each other in their songs, resulting in violent and fatal clashes. Unfortunately, innocent people with nothing to do with the music or turf war are sometimes caught in crossfire.

One of the attendees at Sunday’s gathering, Molete Molete, expressed concern at the alleged involvement of politicians in crime and support for famo musicians when the artists or gangs have a case to answer.

“Our politicians are fans of these famo musicians and we all know which political parties support which famo musicians. Even the police are a part of this. It’s so upsetting when suspects are arrested and later released because they have relationships with certain politicians. You soon see them walking freely as if nothing ever happened, and this places us in danger as well because there is no witness protection, if one happened to have testified against the suspect,” said Mr Molete.

In response, Det Sen Insp Mapola admitted some police officers were involved in famo gangs, which are identified by the colour of their blankets.

“Some of us, as police officers, are involved in these famo inclinations. There are some police officers who wear these blankets, and political leaders also involved in supporting these criminal acts. But no matter their status, they are also criminals,” Det Sen Insp Mapola said.

“The existence of politics is to better your lives and not subject you to crime like what is happening now. Please pray for us to serve you as we should because there are forces that are always hampering us from doing our job.”

Det Sen Insp Mapola also expressed concern at the high rate of crime in Ha Tikoe and surrounding areas, such as Ha Thetsane. The crime, he said, ranged from baby-dumping, housebreaking, theft and murder.

“We are always burying baby corpses which are a result of misbehaviour by women who are taken advantage of by men who promise to better their lives and support them while they harbour them in their houses. They don’t even know who these people are  and what they do for a living but readily subject themselves to them. They open their hearts and houses to them and start having unplanned pregnancies which they end up aborting. This should stop because enough is enough,” he said.

Det Sen Insp Mapola also said landlords should report their tenants to area chiefs to help have a record of everyone living in the area in case something goes wrong.

“You have to report these people when they rent your apartments. These unreported people are very dangerous as they are the ones who study the movements of other tenants; they are the ones who are committing all these crimes. They promise to buy you food and cooking gas and you women, open your homes to them, share your beds with them and leave them in your houses when you go to work.

“If you choose not to report your visitors or tenants, you are eventually going to be victims of crime yourselves,” Det Sen Insp Mapola said.

“Let’s all join hands and fight crime. Basotho’s worst enemy is crime more than anything else. Let’s all strive to go beyond our political differences and know our neighbours. Your neighbors should be your security.”

Det Sen Insp Mapola said most people resort to building high walls around their properties and placing burglar-bars on their doors and windows for security without realizing that the moment they do so, they put themselves at risk of being victims of crime.

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