Lesotho Times Editor Lloyd Mutangamiri was shot last night at the gate at his lower Thamae residence in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, just before midnight. Lloyd was returning home from his office after completing the Sunday Express issue, which is a sister newspaper for the Lesotho Times.
He is still in hospital reportedly stable, though under security. Members of the public and his colleagues were not allowed to see him for security reasons at noon today.
Lloyd was shot just a week after his boss Basildon Peta was charged for defamation and crime injury with regard to Lesotho Times satire column called Scrutator, which carried a satiric story about the Lesotho Defense Force commander and the Lesotho Cabinet.
Lesotho Times in the last two weeks issued an apology on its lead story, regarding a lead article titled Kamoli ‘Exit Strategy’ in which the paper admitted that it published the story without verifying information from its sources. The apology was issued following summoning of Lloyd and his reporter Keiso Mohloboli regarding the story.
Without linking the shooting of Lloyd with any of the previously mentioned information on this media alert, MISA-Lesotho condemns the shooting of Lloyd and regards it as a threat to media freedom in Lesotho. We therefore appeal to the government of Lesotho to commission investigations on the shooting of Lloyd, and provide a report to enable informed decision making by the people of Lesotho and the world on this issue.
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