By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The former Director-General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offenses (DCEO) Advocate Borotho Matsoso has been appointed as the new Commissioner of Police (COMPOL). The Office of the Prime Minister reports in a statement.

“The Office of the Prime Minister informs the nation that His Majesty King Letsie III has pursuant to 147 (3) of the Constitution of Lesotho, 1993, read with section 5(2) of the Police Act of 1998, with the Prime Minister’s advise, has appointed Mr Borotho Matsoso as Commissioner of Police…,” reads the PM’s Office statement.

According to the PM’s office statement, Advocate Matsoso assumes the role as the COMPOL on May 23.

Advocate Borotho succeeds Holomo Molibeli. Molibeli retired as the COMPOL of Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) after 36 years of service and six years at the helm of the police institution.

He stepped down on February 23 and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Dr Mahlape Morai has been holding the fort as the Acting COMPOL.

In his previous career, Advocate Matsoso was a police officer before joining the DCEO.

Before this appointment, Advocate Matsoso was a Chairperson of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) which is a body charged with investigating and reporting to the Police Authority on complaints tabled before it by the Police Authority or the Commissioner from the members of the public regarding the conduct of the police officers as per the section 22(3) of the Police Act, 1998.

He assumes office at a time when the police are accused of human rights violations against suspects in their custody. The torture of suspects by the police has been a recurring issue over the years and does not seem to be subsiding.

At this point, it is not yet clear if he will continue the work from where his predecessor left off. Before his retirement, Molibeli forged a working relationship with the Rwanda Police, establishing exchange programmes that allow some Lesotho police officers to train in Rwanda.

Also, under his leadership, the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) also drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Faculty of Law to develop programmes for police officers.

Additionally, this institution is undergoing reforms to professionalize and strengthen its capacity to effectively carry out its mandate.

The COMPOL is expected to provide overall leadership and strategic direction to the LMPS as well as ensuring that this institution fulfills its mandate to maintain law and order, protect life and property, and uphold the rule of law.