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Bribe-taking cop faces axes

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The Butha-Buthe based police whose video went viral on social media allegedly extorting bribe from the international tourist has been served with a show cause letter.

These developments were revealed by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) spokesperson Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli yesterday in Maseru at the police headquarters.  

He said, the Police Act, 1998 empowers the COMPOL to discharge the police officer whose conduct “tarnishes the reputation” of the police institution.

Section 31 (1) (i) of the Police Act, 1998 says the “Commissioner of Police may dismiss an officer who subverts good order, discipline or lawful authority and tends to bring the Police Service into disrepute.”

In the video making rounds on social media, the police in question is seen taking R150.00 (M150.00) from the motorist identified as the tourist.

The police spokesperson said despite the ongoing case before court, the alleged bribe taker had not made submissions but had instead sought clarity from the LMPS on some of the issues appearing in the “show cause” letter.

Senior Superintendent Mopeli said the institution does not send anyone to ask for bribe to the public, but they do it in their own accord, adding that corruption neither benefits the LMPS nor the country but the individual.

Speaking in the same event the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) Public Relations Manager (PRO) ‘Manchafalo Motšoeneng said if crime goes unpunished, it affects tourism industry.

She said even the domestic tourism suffers a knock due to high crime rate, adding that when people are not safe, they cannot visit other districts and places.

Motšoeneng thanked the LMPS for taking action against their officer.

“Tourism promotes social cohesion,” she said highlighting that the tourism activities contribute to the achievement of the set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which Lesotho has committed to attain.

LTDC Public Relations Manager said safety and security are paramount for the tourism industry, urging members of the public to take care of tourists and fellow nationals. This she said will lead to economic growth.