Chiefs give deadline to landlords

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

Qoaling chief, ’Mataelo Matsoso, has called on landlords to know their tenants to ensure they are not criminals and therefore a danger to the community.

Addressing a public gathering in Qoaling on Sunday, Chief Matsoso said crime was increasing at an alarming rate in his area and neighbouring villages due to tenants who don’t have testimonials from their original homes.

Chief Matsoso, who was in the company of chiefs from neighboring villages of Besele, Ha Seoli and Thamae, said they were expecting every landlord to give them the names and testimonials of their tenants by the end of next month. Failure to comply would result in the rental apartments being closed and the tenants evicted, she warned.

“We have been lenient and let you harbor criminals in your houses and it’s time this comes to an end,” said Chief Matsoso.

“We are facing an increase in crime ranging from possession of illegal firearms, baby-dumping, murder, housebreaking and rape.

“We can’t go on living like this; enough is enough. We have decided to do this on our own because we can’t wait for the authorities to put our houses in order when our people are dying every day.

“We have endangered the lives of our loved ones for way too long hoping that people will come to their senses and be law-abiding citizens.

“Failure to file such information by 30 June will result in such apartments being closed and the tenants removed until the owners have complied with our demand.”

This move, she added, needs the cooperation of every resident to ensure crime is eradicated from communities.

“Unless we work together, crime is going to affect us all one way or the other.

“You hire out your apartments to people you hardly know. During the day, they sleep and at night, they go out and break into other people’s homes. You have to know who you have rented your apartment to.”

She also said chiefs were equally to blame as they write reference letters for people they don’t even know.

“Some chiefs are such liars and worsen the rate of crime by giving references to people who are actually high-profile criminals,” Chief Matsoso said.

“We chiefs, especial women, fear these men lest they shoot us, and the men always want us to lie about them. But I will die for the truth so I suggest we all be firm and have faith in the Lord. Our God is more powerful than their guns,” Chief Matsoso said.

Maseru District Police Commissioner Senior-Superintendent Motlatsi Mapola, who attended the meeting, said the police were on a campaign to eradicate crime.

“Crime affects the country’s economy as the environment would not be investor-friendly hence this campaign,” he said.

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