Unrelenting crime must be curtailed

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THE continued  high incidences of murder and other violent crimes in Lesotho have ensured that the country maintains its dubious moniker as the “murder capital of Africa”. It’s hardly a record to be proud of. Moreso at a time the country is crying for foreign capital.

We have become a soulless nation with no value for human life. People continue being brutally massacred for the flimsiest of  reasons.

We should be well-known for our beautiful dams and flowing rivers which supply South Africa with water. But the blood of women folk,  men and  youths continues to flow unabated. And it is a relentless flow which needs to be curtailed sooner rather than later. We simply cannot continue attracting international headlines for the wrong reasons.

Hardly a week passes by without a report of a brutal killing somewhere in the country. Other cases happen far from the prying eyes of the media.  So they go unreported and unknown.

Only last week we ran a story on two sisters, Nthei (32) and ‘Maphoka Rasekoai (25), who appeared before the Maseru Magistrates Court to answer to charges of murdering their mother in July 2022. They are accused of fatally assaulting Martha Rasekoai on the head with a spade to cash in on her M1 million life cover.  Very sad indeed. Without prejudging the case still before the courts, we cannot help but shudder to ask; how more soulless can a nation become?. When children start murdering their parents for the love of money, then a nation is truly on the brink?

Although Rasekoai will never come back to life, we at least take comfort in knowing that her alleged killer daughters are having their day in court. If they indeed committed the crime, they must suffer the most severe of consequences. But this is but one case in which the perpetrators of murder are being tried.

We remain worried that while cold-blooded indiscriminate killings have become the order of the day in Lesotho, most of these murders remain unresolved.

Some serious soul-searching is now needed. There is a big problem at the heart of society. We need to ask as a nation what it is and what must be done to counter it.

Yes, we have a problem of an incompetent police force. And Holomo Molibeli must go. There is no question about that. The entire criminal justice system must be reformed and entrusted in people who are fit for purpose.

Prime Minister Sam Matekane last month pledged to provide the security agencies including the police with adequate resources to enable them to fulfill their mandates and achieve lasting peace and stability in the country.

He needs to move fast to implement his pledge. But resources alone are not enough You can give  Molibeli  all the resources in the world. But don’t expect  any results. The man cannot be expected to reverse the rot that he himself has caused.

Why he still occupies the seat of police commissioner is beyond all comprehension. The previous Moeketsi Majoro had begun processes to get rid of him. One would have hoped the Moruo administration would have expedited those processes. The sooner they do that the better.

But even with the best police force, led by  the most competent commissioner, Lesotho’s societal problems now run deeper.  Our moral and ethical standards have plummeted. Isn’t it time we asked every hard question about how our societal fabric has decimated? Are we raising our children to be model citizens? What is the impact of the breakdown of the family unit on the core principal of socialization in which cultural norms must be transmitted from one generation to the next? How about the  many irresponsible fathers who shy away from their responsibilities leaving many women as single mothers? Are we instilling the right values and ethical mores in our children at school or even at kindergarten? Why has our society broken down to such an extent that people are now getting killed for fun? A deeper and honest introspection is needed.  Our basic societal fabric has become loose. Our morality and value system has gone down the gutters. We need a national debate and consensus on restoring the principles and value system upon which Moshoeshoe 1 founded this great nation.

 

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