By Neo Mathibe
All eyes will be on the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) after it was called in by the management of the National University of Lesotho (NUL) to remove striking students from the university’s main campus at Roma today.
The students decided to go on strike after the management allegedly declined their request for teaching to be conducted physically instead of online. They complain that online learning is not effective.
While the students were mulling their strike, the school management responded by expelling them from campus and calling in the police to evacuate them.
According to students who spoke to theReporter, the campus soon turned into a warzone, with gunshots and plumes of teargas everywhere.
This has quickly shifted focus to the trigger-happy police, whose penchant for undue heavy- handedness against unarmed and defenceless citizens drew widespread criticism last month when they brutally assaulted young people who took part in a peaceful march aimed at delivering a letter of grievances to the Prime Minister.
The president of the NUL Student Representative Council, Reatlehile Makateng and Secretary for Justice Molemo Jae have pleaded with the university to reconsider the decision to expel students, and heed their concerns.
Attempts to get the police to provide reassurance of the student’s safety drew a blank as spokesperson Supt Mpiti Mopeli’s phone rang unanswered.
NUL’s information officer ‘Mamosa Moteetee confirmed the students’ strike, their expulsion and the calling in of police.