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Famo music gangs blamed for poverty

Business

Ntsoaki Motaung

The Minister of Home Affairs Motlalentoa Letsosa along with Principal Chiefs impugned the notorious Famo music gangs for their contribution in further impoverishing the country.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

This was said during the briefing on the 2021 African Union Project for Internally Displaced Persons, Returnees and Refugees by the Ministry of Home Affairs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Letsosa said that his Ministry has to work hand-in-glove with Principal Chiefs in order to reach out directly to the affected people.

“The importance of consulting the Principal Chiefs is that, they help the ministry with the cause of the matter and how best it can be dealt with accordingly,” he said.

Letsosa indicated that the fights have caused a displacement of many people some of whom are even forced to flee to the neighbouring South Africa where they trade in the illegal mines. He said the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) have tag-teamed with the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) to combat the killings.  

“Recently the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) have been working with Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) to intervene but the fights still continue. The fights even take place in South Africa after the perpetrators killed people this side then run to South Africa as being hunted by the police. They illegally cross to South Africa and continue with their fights. It is also taking a new turn where they kill each other in the closed mines in South Africa after they entered illegally to those mines,” he said.

Letsosa stated that, the government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Home Affairs will implement the country’s commitment to the African Union Project for Internally Displaced Persons Returnees and Refugees.

“We can not only blame the fights over poverty. We have not yet met the affected people to explain directly what the cause is. Yes poverty may be one of the sources but the ministry will work very hard with LMPS, LDF and Churches to find out the cause and then come up with strategies to fight this matter to an end. Everywhere, creating sources of livelihoods is also one of the solutions. But we have to create those sources of livelihoods after finding the source so that after that, they are not destroyed because the people did not really need them or they are not addressing their problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Principal Chief of ‘Mamathe, Sempe Gabasheane Masupha indicated that the government should find ways of helping upcoming children to change their way of thinking by making sure that the government great jobs so that people in the affected areas would know that they do not have to go to illegal mines for survival.

“Years back, Basotho used to focus on farming other than other things. It is in times like this those norms comeback. If those people are kept busy with some projects, all these fights might come to end. The Ministry of Home Affairs should indeed work with Ministry of Education and Training to come up with programs that can help change the mind sets of children. So that they would grow up seeing that those fights even cause poverty if people who are expected to be bread winners are killed,” he said.

Masupha stressed that end to the fights will be achieved when there is decentralisation of services to the councils and chiefs because they know directly the needs of their community members. 

The Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu, Khoabane Letsie Theko indicated that already in his area, chiefs around his place have already agreed on dedicating some of their fields to be used by the community for their developmental projects.

The Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP) Ezekiel Senti indicated that creation of livelihoods sources really works in combating crime.

“Combating crime starts with community policing where we talk to communities to work very hard to fight crime. After that then we help them to come up with projects and monitor them throughout. When they have problems they come back to us and we help come up with solutions together as well as ensuring that those projects are sustainable,” he said.

Senti indicated that famo people can also be brought to order… “Some of them have seen that they can work corporately and they have formed associations that are registered with the law office and raise money for when they have one of their members late,” he said.    

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