Lesotho has been ranked the country with the sixth highest murder rate in the world, according to a recent report from World Population Review.
While the global average murder rate is seven per 100,000 people, Lesotho had a rate almost six times higher at 41.25. The report ranked Lesotho as only safer than El Salvador (82.84 per 100,000 people), Honduras (56.52), Venezuela (56.33), Virgin Islands (49.26) and Jamaica (47.01).
With a little over 2 million people in population, Lesotho has more homicides than countries in a state of conflict like the DRC and Mozambique.
DRC has a homicide statistics of 13.55, Mozambique 3.4, while Lesotho’s populous neighbour, South Africa with 33.97 murders per 100,000 people, is the only other SADC country in the top 10 list of highest rates of murder.
In three weeks, six police officers have been killed in Lesotho. Two weeks ago, a police constable Mokilane Mokete was shot dead on a Saturday evening in Mapoteng, about 70km north-east of the capital, Maseru. Mokete was killed days after another police officer, Selone Selone, was killed by unknown gunmen in Butha-Buthe.
Also earlier this month, Qetelo Letšela was shot dead in the Mokhotlong district after being allegedly abducted him while he was taking his 12-year-old son home from hospital.
Most people believe a crippled judiciary coupled with police inefficiency has led to some murderers walking free despite gruesome killings.
While police have attributed the high rate of murder cases to the huge number of unlicensed firearms that find their way into Lesotho through South Africa’s through porous borders, analysts say it might be far from the cause as this does not explain why popular criminals are rarely taken to court or, when cases are taken to court, there are few convictions.
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