news

Aug. 26, 2022

LeNA

2 min read

Taxis threaten strike five days before election

Taxis threaten strike five days before election

A fleet of hired vehicles of the government of Lesotho

Story highlights

  • Government fails to service contracts on hired vehicles
  • Taxis demand that fitness permits be issued once a year

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Public Transport Operators have threatened to boycott final political rallies by engaging on strike on October 02 if the government does not address their grievances.

Speaking at the press conference held in Maseru on Wednesday, Maseru Region Transport Operators (MRTO) Public Relations Officer, Mr. Lebohang Moea said they had on several occasions pleaded with government through two main ruling political parties (All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Democratic Congress (DC) to address their grievances which include transport reforms and transport educational tour amongst others.

He added that they appealed to the government to extend vehicle fitness from six months to a year as well as the issue of permits to no avail.

He therefore indicated that they have organised a meeting of stakeholders to convene on August 31 and will bring together the above mentioned political party Leaders as well as other eight parties which are contesting for the upcoming general elections and followed by majority of people.

He said the objective was to state these grievances once again and find out from party leaders how and when they would address them.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same briefing on behalf of the business community whose vehicles are hired by the government, Mr. Lebohang Motaung said they had decided to sue the government for failing to pay them for over seven months.

Taxis threaten strike five days before election

Lebohang Moea, Maseru Region Transport Operators (MRTO) Public Relations Officer

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He said they were drowning in bank debts as they took loans to buy vehicles hired by the government.

He indicated that they did this to answer to the Prime Minister’s call to combat poverty but now their families were the ones struggling yet they were trying to put food on the table.

He said they were now broke and could not even afford to pay for motor service and other maintenance costs when such vehicles broke down.

He added that by the time their four-year contracts with the government come to an end, their vehicles might have been repossessed by banks as their accounts were already in arrears.

Asked how they are supposed to be paid, he said their contracts with the government indicated that they should be paid on the 15th of every month but that had not happened.

“We wonder how daily government operations will be run if the court decides to ground our vehicles pending the court case,” he said.

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