The Deejays’ Association of Lesotho(DJALE) alongside the Lesotho musicians took to the streets of Maseru to openly sell their music while heading to the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) premises Avani Maseru to clarify some issues.
However, their mission was intercepted by heavily armed members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) with their trucks.
A fortnight ago, in his Covid-19 address, the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro announced the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions, with the country moving from the Alert level Orange to Purple lockdown level. However, the Djs and the musicians were not catered for in the easing of the restrictions.
Since then, they have shown discontentment of not being catered for and have been up in arms demanding that the regulations be further adjusted to permit the entertainment industry to operate, like other sectors.
The only provision made towards the musicians in the current level purple regulations is for them to sell their and products on the streets with speakers for advertisement while events and live performances remain barred.
Their first attempt in trying to do as the regulations provide with their 15-vehicle convoy was intercepted and barred from proceeding near St James High School by the policemen.
Speaking to reporters on the day, one of the DJs, Bafokeng Ramoseli said their convoy to NACOSEC offices was a peaceful one which was merely meant to go all out and sell their music on the streets of Maseru.
â€œAs the purple alert level regulations that we are currently in say, it allows us to go all out the streets to sell our music hence we agreed as musicians and Djs that we should come out today and do as the regulations provide,â€ Ramoseli said.
He stated that to their surprise, while they were gathering and getting ready to do as agreed, police arrived and told them that they were having an illegal march and were ordered to disperse immediately.
â€œWhile we were there organising ourselves, the members of the LMPS came and ordered us to immediately disperse as we are having an illegal march but we explained that we were not having a march rather a we are just trying to do what the current regulations say. However, they are not budging and that is the problem that we now haveâ€
Ramoseli explained that he then decided to call a NACOSEC official namely Ntoiâ€¦ and explained to him their situation, whom he says told him that they were in no contravention of any law or regulation and that the police are the ones contravening the regulations.
â€œWhen I called Mr Ntoi at NACOSEC he assured me that we were in no way doing anything illegal as the regulations provide for us to sell our music on the streetsâ€
â€œOur mission has failed, the only course we have is to find a suitable place to stand and sell our music by playing a mix, for example so that we can also put food on the table,â€ he said.
The president of the Deejays Association of Lesotho Malefetsane Tsolinyane known as Dj Darvetz told this publication on Thursday they had a zoom meeting with National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) which he says did not reach any conclusion whether they will be allowed to partially operate or not.
â€œWe had a meeting with NACOSEC on Wednesday to tell them our grievances, the meeting was held via zoom and did not reach a conclusion on the way forward but we are still waiting to hear their decision whether events will be allowed or not because we are not backing up, we need to work,â€ Darvetz said.
The NACOSEC risk communication manager Baroane Phinithi said NACOSEC is doing all in its powers to meet every stakeholder halfway in mitigating the spread of the Covid-19.
â€œAmongst other things, the work of NACOSEC is to meet all stakeholders halfway so that we can curb the spread of the virus and the Djs are no different hence I believe we will look into their grievances,â€ Phinithi said. On what their decision was after the meeting with the djs he said he was not aware of the meeting as he was out in Morija where the vaccination was being launched; he however, referred this publication to NACOSEC stakeholder manager Mating Mahooana but she was not available for comment as the phone kept ringing with no answer until the time of publishing.