Lesotho Times Editor Survives Assassination Attempt

The Lesotho Times editor who is of Zimbabwean origin narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in his Maseru home in Lesotho.

The African Independent reports that Lloyd Mutungamiri, the Lesotho Times editor was shot in his driveway as he was about leaving for work.

The failed assassination attempt is said to have occurred on Sunday morning.

Although it is unknown who the assailants were, Mutungamiri’s wife suspects the government’s military had a hand in her husband’s attack. She believes it is linked to a recent story he published in the Lesotho Times.

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The story which she referred to is one in which it was revealed that negotiations were being made in secret to give Lesotho’s army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli a luxurious exit package.

The army commander was reportedly unhappy with the story as it portrayed him as a greedy general who was demanding more than R40 million for his exit.

A number of organizations have condemned the attack, the human rights watchdog group decried the assassination attempt at the Lesotho Times editor and called on the government to take action.

“Such a callous attack puts responsibility on the government of Lesotho to publicly condemn this and other attacks on the media and launch a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the shooting of Mutungamiri and make the findings of the investigation public and for suspected perpetrators to be brought to justice in accordance with international law,” the group said.

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Amnesty International also condemned the attack, calling it an “attack on the right of freedom of expression.”

“The deplorable attack on the life of the Lesotho Times editor Lloyd Mutungamiri is also an attack on the right to freedom of expression. Authorities must leave no stone unturned in getting to the bottom of this act and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.