Lesotho opposition calls for stay-away; banks, supermarkets open in capital Maseru

Opposition called for a two-day strike highlight lawlessness after the killing of former defence force commander, and abductions of army officers.

LESOTHO’S main opposition party called for a two-day strike starting Monday to highlight lawlessness after the killing of the country’s former defence force commander Maaparankoe Mahao, the leader of Basotho National Party, Joang Molapo told People’s Choice Radio.

Banks and major supermarkets were open in the capital, Maseru, on Monday. Few public transport vehicles were available and many workers arrived late.

Mahao, the country’s former army chief, was shot dead on June 25 by soldiers during an operation to arrest suspected coup plotters, according to the defence ministry. A businessman, Thabiso Tsosane, was also killed and there have been abductions of army officers by colleagues.

The kingdom has been in turmoil since ex-Prime Minister Tom Thabane dismissed Tlali Kamoli as army commander for alleged coup plotting and replaced him with Mahao in August last year.

After Feb. 28 elections produced no clear winner, a coalition government led by the Democratic Congress named Pakalitha Mosisili as premier and Kamoli was reinstated.

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