By Thuso Mosabala
Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli has a mammoth task proving to the nation that circumstances around the “missing” ’Makarabo Mojakhomo do not amount to an enforced disappearance, with a big IF he is not part of the alleged conspiracy.
Without doubt, it is in the judgment of almost every citizen that there is something secret that the police are not telling us.
There is clearly a hovering sense of abduction of ’Makarabo Mojakhomo by the police and this is evocative on Ntate Molibeli, in the capacity of commissioner, IF he is not part of the plan.
A million-maloti question would be why would our women and men in blue uniform abduct Mojakhomo and keep this a secret?
On June 4, Basotho woke up to a startling police report about a suspect in the person of ’Makarabo Mojakhomo, erstwhile head of the Maesaiah Thabane Trust Fund, who “escaped from police custody” just when preparations were underway for her to be taken for court appearance on charges of fraud.
The report said “on the morning of May 31, 2018, she was taken out from her cell and the investigating officer preparing her paperwork ordered her to sit outside of the door of office. When the investigating officer returned Makarabo was nowhere to be found”.
‘Makarabo was on May 28, 2018 summoned to appear before the Police Headquarters in Maseru to be informed of the charges she was facing. She arrived the following day, May 29, 2018, with her lawyer where she got arrested on the said charges and held in police custody until May 31.
Rights groups, Amnesty International and Transformation Resource Centre, in their statement entitled End enforced disappearance of ’Makarabo Mojakhomo said “she was interrogated on May 29 by a team of interrogators and was then held at the Maseru Police Headquarters until Thursday May 31 when she was due to appear in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court”.
It does appear by the look of comments on every media platform that Mojakhomo’s case amounts to enforced disappearance, but this has overly been shot down by the police with the commissioner himself telling MNN Center for Investigative Journalism “this is not enforced disappearance but rather a case of being aided and abetted to escape from lawful custody”.
For the record, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992 defined in article 2, enforced disappearance to mean:
“arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”
It will be remiss of me not to mention the horrific and tragic murder of Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng allegedly by his colleagues. His death and of many others have not escaped our minds yet, not when we still wait to see justice take its course. Khetheng’s case surely is testimony of what some members of the police are capable of doing. It is the very reason why the citizens are mad over Mojakhomo’s disappearance.
I do not contest that people can escape from custody, but incidents of custodial torture and the case of Khetheng in mind leads people to think the worst of our women and men in blue.
Ntate Molibeli and his charges should work very hard this time to convince us they are not the same tormentors that tarnished the LMPS reputation yesterday. Mojakhomo should be found alive and not to have been subjected to any form of torture.
*Thuso Mosabala is a political science graduate, radio personality and investigative journalism fellow with MNNCIJ