By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU- The Basotho National Party (BNP) leader Hon Machesetsa Mofomobe has filed questions for the Minister of Local Government, Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police Hon Lebona Lephema to apprise the National Assembly on the process surrounding the procurement of new police.

In a move to equip the police and combat crime, the government has resourced the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) with 75 vehicles.

The vehicles were handed over to the police in a ceremony held at Police Training College last week.

The procured police cars of Mahindra double and single cab bakkies and Honda Fit sedans make.

These vehicles were received with mixed bag emotions by the public, while some expressed delight, others expressed concern querying compliance with due process of procurement procedures.

Mofomobe wants the Minister to apprise the parliament on the purchase of vehicles for LMPS.

He further interrogates if there was a call for tender where qualified companies can apply for the job of procurement of these vehicles, the name of the company that had won such a tender, how much each car costs and if the Honda Fits are new or are second-hand.

Meanwhile, Honda Fits are usually imported from Japan and second-hand in nature.

According to the Public Procurement Act, 2023, on second-hand goods it says they not be “(a) eligible for procurement under this Act, except with the permission of the Minister who will, on advice of the Authority, issue such permit and condition under which a procuring entity can procure second-hand goods; and (b) procured through a competitive process that allows a tender with news goods”.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Prime Minister Rt Hon Ntsokoane Matekane expressed concern about the high crime rate in the country.

Amongst the leading crime cases that had bedeviled the country he said are murder, stock theft, violence against children, women and old people, and armed robbery.