LEPOSA president suspended
THE Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA) has suspended its president, Senior Inspector Boipuso Monne, for filing an affidavit in the High Court challenging the association’s move to block the 2018 promotion of six police officers.
The six officers who were promoted are Inspector Baleme Edwin Lebajoa, who is now an Assistant Commissioner, Senior Inspector Lefu Ralethoko who was elevated to the Senior Superintendent while Police Spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli and Senior Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane, are now Superintendents.
Inspectors, Mohlapiso Mohlapiso and Monne were promoted to the rank of Senior Inspector.
LEPOSA alleged the said promotions were executed in contravention of the laws governing the LMPS.
In its court papers, LEPOSA called upon the respondents to explain why “the promotions announced on 12 January 2018, shall not be declared null, void and of no legal force and effect in law for violating provisions of Section 8(1) read with 8(2) of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service Act No. 7 of 1998”.
The police association also wanted the High Court to nullify the said promotions for not being compliant with the provisions of police regulations as amended in 2003.
However, Snr Insp Monne filled an affidavit challenging LEPOSA’s bid to block the promotions saying the associations’ general secretary does not have such authority.
Snr Insp Monne confirmed to the Lesotho Times that he received the suspension letter on Monday.
He also rubbished the claims that procedures were not followed when the promotions were effected saying the vacancies were advertised and everyone who qualified for the posts was free to apply.
He however, said before he applied for the Senior Inspector post, he met with the LEPOSA National Executive Committee (NEC) seeking their advice on whether or not he should apply and he was given a go ahead.
“In 2017 the vacancies were announced for the positions within the Police and everyone who qualifies was allowed to apply. But because I am the LEPOSA president and we still had a pending case at the courts of law where we were challenging the unlawful promotion of other police officers in the run up to the 2017 snap elections, I approached our NEC trying to get an advice on whether or not I can apply and I was given a go ahead.
“I indeed applied and fortunately, I was one of the successful candidates and in January last year, we got promoted but immediately after the promotions, I learnt that there was a court application blocking the promotions from LEPOSA,” Snr Insp Monne said.
Snr Insp Monne said he was surprised to learn that it was LEPOSA who challenged the promotions without his knowledge as its president and when he was doing his investigations, he discovered that their Secretary General Moraleli Motloli was orchestrating behind the court action.
“Under normal circumstances, if LEPOSA was to launch a court challenge, then the NEC was supposed to have met first and deliberate on the matter. So, I tried to find out what was happening and I found that our Secretary General was one behind all this. I filled an affidavit also challenging the summon in February last year and that case is still in the courts of laws,” he said.
Snr Insp Monne said he was only suspended because he refused to withdraw his affidavit from in the High Court but said he was surprised that it only came almost a year later.
“The letter which I received on Monday said I was suspended because I refused to withdraw my affidavit challenging the court action blocking of our promotions. It is also surprising that the suspension only came after a year. This issue of suspension is also interfering with that case that is already before the court.”
Snr Insp Monne said he refused to withdraw his affidavit because the Secretary General has no power to launch a court application without the approval of the NEC.
“He doesn’t have executive powers to make such decisions because that solely the NEC job while his is just to implement NEC decisions. However, this is not the case with the court application to block our promotions.
“Also, our constitution gives me as the president, veto power. Among my responsibilities is to oversee the Secretary General not the other way around. I can only be charged by the NEC and not the Secretary General.
“What amazed me most about the suspension letter is that it says that I am being suspended while the members are being consulted and I wonder why the members were not consulted first before the suspension.”
Snr Insp Monne said this might be a plot to topple him as the association goes for its elections in October this year.
He however, said he is not going to take the suspension lying down as he will soon write back to the NEC to warn them about their deeds.
“I am going to write to them because now they are actually misleading themselves because they have to know where their powers end. I was elected by the general conference and it is only a similar conference or a special conference which can dethrone me,” Snr Insp Monne said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Motloli proved fruitless as his phone rang unanswered.