Moleleki speaks on Koro-Koro shooting
BUTHA-BUTHE – Alliance of Democrats (AD) leader Monyane Moleleki has condemned the infighting which culminated in the fatal shooting of one Thabiso Moqolo during last week’s primary elections in the Koro-Koro constituency in Maseru district.
Mr Moqolo was shot dead during a brawl that erupted over the authenticity of the delegates for the abortive primary election in which AD officials, Refiloe Litjobo and Khotso Makana were vying for the nod to represent the party in the 3 June general elections.
The elections, the third the country is holding in five years, were announced by His Majesty King Letsie III in the aftermath of last month’s successful parliamentary no confidence motion by the opposition bloc against the seven parties’ coalition government.
This brought to a premature end the tenure of the coalition government which had been in power since the 2015 elections and were supposed to have served a five year term.
Although some party members have fingered the party’s youth league constituency chairperson, Advocate Mohau Tšilo as the suspect in the fatal shooting, police spokesperson, Superintendent Clifford Molefe told the Lesotho Times they were still investigating the matter.
Advocate Tšilo has protested his innocence in an interview with this publication, adding he did not even own a gun.
For his part, Mr Litjobo admitted to twice firing in the air following the initial shooting. He also confirmed owning the gun which he fired, saying it was licenced and shown to the police at the place the incident took place.
And in his address to thousands of the party supporters at Ha-Marakabei in the Butha-Buthe district early this week, Mr Moleleki said the party regretted and condemned the incident which went against the party’s principles of unity and nonviolence.
“On behalf of the AD, I wish to condemn the incident which happened at our primary elections in Koro-Koro,” Mr Moleleki said, adding, “The AD was founded on the principles of peace, patience, national unity and good relations with other political parties”.
“But last Sunday’s incident has caused our party to be the first in Lesotho where life of a person is ended over primary elections. This will remain a black spot that will taint our party’s image for a long time.”
Mr Moleleki proposed that the party organises a cleansing ceremony “where we shall slaughter a white chicken and a white goat and ask for forgiveness from our gods”.
He said it was unfortunate that in Koro-Koro, party members were divided into two rival armed groups.
He said this had turned the party into a laughing stock that preached peace “but our members are killing each other like dogs, turning our rallies into a battlefield”.
He urged the party faithful to desist from carrying weapons to rallies and also implored the police to speedily investigate and arrest the suspect (s).
“I’m earnestly appealing to all AD members to desist from carrying guns or any other weapon to our electoral rallies.
“I take the responsibility of inviting police to search you and your cars. Our rallies cannot be turned into battlefields to shame the AD while we watch.
“It is my earnest appeal to the police to investigate and they should not be ashamed to arrest our members who are found to be on the wrong side of the law,” he said adding, “no one is above the law”.