- At least two people have sustained gunshot wounds with another undisclosed number sustaining minor injuries in a fresh taxi violence building up in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru.
Many commuters were left stranded this morning as private taxi and bus operators decided to abandon service complaining of lack of security, following yesterday’s alleged shooting of a taxi driver by one of the government bus employees.
As private operators tried small blockades this morning on major roads leading into the city to prohibit government buses from servicing the routes, another violence broke, at which a man was shot during an exchange of gunfire and stones between police and the protesters.
The taxi war in Lesotho has been intensifying since the government of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili made a decision to increase the government bus fleet saying the private operators were unreliable and were bend on supporting opposition moves to unsettle government.
On Monday this week, private taxi and bus operators handed over a petition to government complaining amongst others the introduction of more government buses into the local routes as well set fare prices, which operators feel do not tally with the increasing costs of spares and fuel.
The situation remains tense in most major routes into the city while heavily armed police are keeping an eye. Local civil society groups have called for an urgent multi-stakeholders forum later today to try to reach a solution that will avoid bloodshed.
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