Public Statement of Action for Peace and Solidarity (APS) on the Occasion of the First Annual Peace Walk in Celebration of the Life of Comrade Maaparankoe Mahao,
24 October 2015.
The month of June 2015 saw the tragic, brutal and heartless murder of our brother and comrade Lt—Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao by Lesotho Defence Force operatives; which brought Africa and the world standing in united outpour of grief, indignation and rage at this heinous and cowardly elimination of a man who stood for truth, honour and dignity of humanity. The tragedy reawakened the forces of peace, democracy and human rights to the need for continued vigilance and intensification of the struggle against the palpable resurgence of the compact of depravity, inhumanity, and moral degeneration sill marauding in our communities; and inspired the formation of Action for Peace and Solidarity (APS).
The main thrust of organisation’s given mandate is to strive for respect and protection of human rights, upholding of the rule of law; where peace and tranquility reign for all, and citizens freely participate in matters affecting their livelihood, towards a sustainable development of Lesotho. Among a multiplicity of regular activities in advancement of the mission of the organization, and upholding its core values of preserving the sanctity of human life, integrity in public affairs, supporting and defending the weak and marginalized; the APS is committed to preserving and promoting the memory and legacy of Comrade Maaparankoe Mahao through among others annual lectures on themes of the causes to which he committed his life (peaceful co-existence, solidarity, honesty and integrity in public life, diligence and enterprise, selfless leadership, respect for fruits of people’s sweat, etc.), establishment of Maaparankoe Mahao Foundation, erection of a memorial and enshrinement of the place of his tragic passing, and an annual Maaparankoe Mahao Peace Walk which is being launched today. This year’s inaugural walk is scheduled for Saturday October 24, 2015 and will commence at his family homestead at Koalabata in Maseru at 6am, and end at his birthplace of Mokema, at the spot he was brutally killed. Phuthiatsna Bridge will be an alternative starting point for those preferring a shorter route (15 km). At the end-point there will be short solidarity, freedom, and peace speeches; and merrymaking activities pitting the host community and the walkers.
We take this opportunity to salute the formation of the SADC Commission of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances leading to Lt. General Maaapankoe Mahao’s murder. We also deep our flag in grave gratitude to all those who have till now come forward and with open bosoms to help the Commission with information that might shine the light into the dark corners of secrecy, gangster culture, and fabrication of falsehoods even against individuals and families of the victims, thus adding insult to injury. We salute the gallant and often self-sacrificing efforts of individual journalists and media houses that have tirelessly kept the lamp of enlighten light burning and rolled back the frontiers of falsification, intimidation, sycophancy, and cowardice in these trying time.
As APS we sternly beseech the Government to change its course and produce the perpetrators of the heinous acts, whose insurance by the State is an affront to the dignity and integrity of Lesotho as a State and Basotho as a nation. The whole nation is watching with hope that this Commission will, unlike the past similar commissions, yield peace and stability for Basotho.
Reasons for Peace Walk
- Provide a social informal platform for ordinary citizens to express themselves, share ideas, worries and concerns about peace in Lesotho;
- Pray for Peace in Lesotho, and among Basotho;
- Provide an unstructured people’s peace dialogue and exchange;
- Encourage Basotho to reconnect and talk about future of Lesotho beyond party lines;
God Save Lesotho, God Save Basotho.
Khotso, Pula, Nala.
Statement Issued by Action For Peace and Solidary (APS) in Maseru, Lesotho on 7th October 2015
******************* WE SHALL OVERCOME!!!! *****************