In a powerful demonstration against the escalating drug crisis, impassioned women from Lesotho who are members of the Mokhosi Oa ‘Mangoana (MOM), along with concerned parents affected by drug abuse, recently convened in a march to confront the pervasive issue of substance abuse.
Adorned in black attire symbolising mourning, MOM members shed light on the distress they face at the hands of their children entangled in drug abuse.
‘Mamphana ‘Molotsi, General Secretary for MOM, emphasised the harrowing reality that many women endure violence perpetrated by their drug-dependent children.
“The impact of drug abuse leads our children to unspeakable acts,” ‘Molotsi shared.
“I, too, experienced this horror when my child, driven by addiction, caused me serious harm when he stabbed me 20 wounds in pursuit of money for drugs. I survived a vicious attack, but many women lose their lives to this anguish,” she lamented.
Molotsi stated that individuals entrenched in substance abuse not only emotionally violate their parents but also resort to drastic measures, including selling household possessions or falling prey to threatening drug lords due to mounting debts.
Presenting their concerns to Commissioner of Police (COMPOL) Holomo Molibeli, ‘Molotsi urgently called for police intervention against trafficking and substance abuse while highlighting the neglect faced by whistleblowers.
Expressing distress over alleged connections between some officers and drug lords, compromising law enforcement’s integrity, ‘Molotsi stressed the pivotal need to address police involvement in substance abuse, ensuring the credibility of the police force.
“Disturbing reports suggest that some police officers may be involved in the consumption of dangerous substances, addressing this issue is crucial to maintain the credibility and effectiveness of the police force,” she said
MOM further requested Molibeli to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of police officers neglecting whistle-blower information and having connections with drug lords, institute a transparent and rigorous system to identify and address any instances of police officers engaging in substance abuse, and implement measures to provide comprehensive assistance to victims of drug abuse, and rehabilitation services.
In response, Molibeli empathised with the women, acknowledging the shared parental concern among police officers. He pledged thorough investigations into MOM’s allegations and assured proactive measures to address the issues raised.
While acknowledging limitations in the sentencing process due to outdated laws, Molibeli urged collective efforts to amend these laws, asserting that community advocacy remains crucial in combatting drug abuse.
“When accepting this letter, we undoubtedly understood that the opinions and pleas drafted in the petition come from sore hearts and our job is to solve this issue but we cannot do it all by ourselves without your help. I can assure you that we are not just police officers but we are parents too and these issues bother us too,” he said.
Member of Parliament (MP), Mamello Phooko, echoed the urgency of the matter, emphasising the destructive impact of drugs on countless lives. Phooko pledged her support to MOM’s advocacy efforts, leveraging her parliamentary privileges to address this pressing issue.