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Shock as four are murdered during curfew



MASERU – FOUR people were killed within days after the government declared a curfew to curb the rampant murders that have rocked the country in recent months.

The murders last week bring the number of murders in the past four weeks to 46, further confirming Lesotho’s dubious distinction as one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

The murders last week started on Wednesday night, a day after the curfew was imposed when a street vendor was gunned down in Qoaling.

Reports say the victim was stalked by his attackers as he walked home.

On the same night a 41-year-old man was fatally shot in Ha Pena-Pena.

Police said many 9mm shells were found next to his body.

On Saturday night a man and a woman were shot dead while travelling to Mokema. The male victim has been identified as Mothibi Mothibi, 44, who worked at parliament as a coordinator.

The identity of the female victim who was with Mothibi has not been revealed even though they are both reported to be from the Mokema village.

Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said “9mm and 7.65 mm shells were found at the crime scene,” but no arrests have been made so far.

Chief Teketsi Maama of Mokema said Mothibi had earlier in the day attended a funeral service in Ha-Mahlabela, near Mokema.

He said on his way back home he had some drinks with other people in the nearby village of Malimong.

Chief Maama said Mothibi came back to his home in the company of the woman he was killed with while travelling in his car.

“It seemed they were waylaid by unknown assailants who sprayed them with bullets,” he said.

“The car veered off the tarmac road and it overturned,” Chief Maama said.

“These deaths have left the community in a state of panic, shock and fear.”

He said the police and the army arrived hours after the incident and promised to find the killers.

The killings could embolden those, especially the opposition, who have been railing against the curfew as an ineffective way to reduce violent crimes.

The government’s sympathisers could argue it is still too early to assess if the curfew is working. The government is yet to say when the curfew which runs between 10pm and 4am, will end.

Majara Molupe

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