7 September 2017

Lesotho: Churches Body Calls for Peace

Photo: Daily News
SADC countries flags.

THE Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) has called on the nation, including government, the opposition and the general public to observe the rule of law to ensure peace and stability in the country.

The CCL also warned against media polarisation, saying this had contributed to the current climate of impunity and consequent instability in the country.

It made the call in a statement that was released in the aftermath of Tuesday's gun battle at Ratjomose Barracks in Maseru which claimed the lives of Lesotho Defence Force Commander, Lieutenant General Khoantle Motṧomotṧo, Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi.

The statement also follows claims by the opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) that its deputy leader, Tšeliso Mokhosi, who is facing murder charges in connection with the death of Police Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng was tortured in police custody last week.

LCD leader, Mothetjoa Metsing subsequently fled the country on 29 August 2017 and he was followed two days later by the deputy leader of the Democratic Congress, Mathibeli Mokhothu.

Both claimed they had fled in fear for their lives but government immediately denied they or anyone else in the opposition had been targeted for elimination.

In its Tuesday statement, the CCL noted that "we have, for several times released statements pleading with the government, opposition and the entire nation to shy away from things that divide the nation torture, further asking for all stakeholders to engage in a dialogue to foster peace".

"This statement further serves to remind people that for a nation to be peaceful it has to be governed by the rule of law. We have noted that people are being arrested and tortured and again it is with great sorrow that we learned that three top LDF officials were killed.

"It has also come to our attention that the media has divided itself among political parties, taking sides and this has caused divisions within the nation further promoting the spirit of revenge. Need we remind the media that its mandate is to inform the public? Therefore, we urge the media practitioners to act accordingly."

The statement was signed by the Roman Catholic Church's Archbishop Tlali Lerotholi O.M.I; Bishop Mallane Taaso of the Anglican Church of Lesotho; Reverend Tšeliso Masemene of the Lesotho Evangelical Church of Southern Africa; Reverend Mapeete Mokhosi of the African Methodist Church and Reverend Monaheng Sekese of Assemblies of God Lesotho on behalf of the CCL.

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