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16 Days of Activism culminates on Sunday: Reflections on GBV and a whimsical twist in police curfew

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Editorial Comment

As the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence culminate on Human Rights Day on Sunday, it’s essential to reflect on the impact, progress, and ongoing challenges in the fight against such pervasive injustices.

This annual campaign serves as a crucial reminder of the urgent need to address gender-based violence in all its forms, highlighting the significance of human rights and equality. The fundamental right to live free from violence and discrimination should be an inherent part of every individual’s existence, irrespective of gender, race, or social status.

Yet, as these 16 days come to a close, the stark reality remains that gender-based violence persists globally, affecting millions of lives. It permeates communities, homes, and workplaces, often shrouded in silence and stigma. It’s a multi-faceted issue that demands comprehensive and sustained efforts from all sectors of society.

This year’s theme, “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls,” has resonated globally, urging action to eliminate gender-based violence at its core.

Throughout these 16 days, numerous initiatives, campaigns, and dialogues have amplified the voices of survivors, activists, and advocates, sparking conversations and raising awareness about the prevalence and consequences of gender-based violence.

It’s heartening to witness the collective solidarity, determination, and resilience of communities worldwide in the face of this pervasive issue.

However, even as we acknowledge the strides made during this period, it’s vital to recognise that eradicating gender-based violence requires sustained efforts beyond these designated days. It necessitates policy changes, education, community engagement, and fostering a culture that unequivocally condemns all forms of violence and discrimination.

Each of us has a role to play in this ongoing battle. It begins with introspection, challenging harmful norms, promoting respect, and fostering environments where everyone feels safe and empowered. It’s about dismantling systems that perpetuate inequality and amplifying the voices of those marginalized and oppressed.

As we mark the culmination of the 16 Days of Activism on Human Rights Day, let’s not view it as an endpoint but rather a catalyst for continuous action. Let’s carry the spirit of this campaign forward, advocating for a world where human rights are universally respected and where gender-based violence has no place.

In essence, the fight against gender-based violence and the pursuit of human rights demand our unwavering commitment, not just for 16 days but every day until we achieve a world of true equality and justice for all.

Moving from these critical conversations, we delve into the whimsical yet confounding world of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS).

The whimsical orchestration by the LMPS has ushered in a plot twist this holiday season, featuring a curfew that beckons officers back to their nests while the stars illuminate the night sky.

Superintendent Marou, the maestro of discipline within the LMPS, unleashed a memo that sent shockwaves through the ranks, heralding an age of officerly nocturnal confinement.

The memo, chiseled in stone-like severity, warned officers against prowling in public places where the liquid enchantment of alcohol and other intoxicants is peddled, a command that left officers raising their eyebrows higher than their batons.

Such transgressions, the decree forewarned, would invite disciplinary measures, which, I daresay, might involve writing lines on proper curfew etiquette.

In the aftermath of this cosmic decree, officers were reminded, not so subtly, of their sworn duty and the sacredness of the LMPS reputation. The memo’s abrupt farewell of “Gratefully, all are informed” left officers pondering whether they had unwittingly enrolled in an impromptu boarding school for nocturnal officerlings.

Amidst this saga, Commissioner Molibeli, during the grand debut of shiny new police wheels, emphasised the importance of responsible car parenting.

His strictures declared a zero-tolerance policy for officers who turn patrol cars into post-party Ubers. The cars, soon to boast conspicuous identification, are poised to become the Chatty Cathys of the neighborhood, urging citizens to report any untoward nighttime vehicular sightings.

Molibeli, the man with the hammer, reiterated that officers moonlighting as criminals would face the guillotine of immediate dismissal, a stern warning aimed at purifying the ranks, ensuring that the police force remains as pristine as a monastery choir.

But oh, the intrigue! Controversy tiptoed in recently as Mokhosi Oa ‘Mangoana (MoM), an NGO combating the teen vices of drug abuse and sex trafficking, revealed the police’s unexpected role in the drug-dealing tango.

Pontšo Tumisi, MoM’s raconteur, painted a picture of officers pirouetting in the murky underworld, straddling the line between upholding the law and penning a dark novella of their own.

As the LMPS attempts to corral its night owls, the moonlit tale unfolds with twists and turns, painting a portrait that might well find a place in the annals of whimsical law enforcement tales.

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