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Public transport operators go on strike Wednesday

The Lesotho Mobile Court

Oct. 19, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

PUBLIC transport operators across the country have planned a stay away for Wednesday, in protest against the Lesotho traffic mobile court, which they contend is killing their already struggling business.

Among other things, the taxis and buses’ owners demand the immediate removal of the mobile court from public roads, arguing that the court with its draconian rules is illegal.

The operators, who have now turned protesting into a habit on Monday threatened that the mass action will be nationwide.

“We have been complaining about this issue for a long time now but no one seems to listen to us. It is a sign that government does not care about our industry at all. We represent so many people through our associations, so they told us that the mobile court is having a detrimental effect to their businesses,” said Mokete Jonase who is also the chairman of the Maseru Region Transport Operators (MRTO).

Recently, all the regions have been engaging in a series of meetings to discuss the effects of the mobile court and how best to deal with them.

Monday was the last day of the meetings, with Thaba-Tseka, Maseru and Teyateyaneng (T.Y) well represented.

“On Wednesday we do not want to see any public transport on our roads the whole day. Any vehicle that will be seen loading passengers will also be dealt with accordingly,” Mr Jonase added.

Some of the taxi owners who attended the Monday meeting shared their experiences with the mobile court, showing that nothing will stand in their way on Wednesday.

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MRTO Chairperson Jonase Mokete

“We have a problem with this vehicle. I have already paid M1 500 because my taxi had tinted windows and tyre problems. This is a lot of money considering the poor infrastructure in our country. Our industry is already struggling to make ends meet, partly because the government is failing to help us eliminate pirate cars. So we will do everything we can to fight this situation on Wednesday,” added Teboho Makara who operates on the Roma-Maseru route.

The mobile traffic court was introduced in June this year to try traffic offences on the spot and reduce the huge back-lock of traffic cases at the Magistrates’ Courts. The court has been roundly condemned by motorists across the country.

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