Lesotho police shoot at striking textile workers

By Staff Reporter
Armed Lesotho police officers on Tuesday fired live ammunition at scores of striking textile workers as they tried to march to State House in Maseru to demand an audience with Prime Minister Thom Thabane over the pending announcement of a gazette notice on minimum wage.
Our correspondent in Maseru narrated that the aggrieved industrial workers that downed tools earlier this month demanding a 2,000 maloti minimum wage as promised by the government, had promised to call off their strike action Tuesday once the government had issued the gazette notice on the said wage threshold.
The initial announcement of the minimum wage threshold was halted by the textile industry employers’ associated who sought a court order restraining the minister responsible to endorse the minimum wage gazette notice and the workers vowed to continue striking.
“Today things are getting worse because police are shooting the people. So they are willing to die now until the gazette notice is released,” the eyewitness source said. “The people wanted to go State House to find out why the Prime Minister was playing with their minds. That’s where police started stopping them by shooting.”
The sources said police officers necklaced one of the irate workers with a tyre and severely beat him up.
“They took another person, put a tyre on him and hit him and left him fainted far from the road. No one  will help that man,” the source narrated. “The workers are saying no gazette can be announced by talking but by writing. We found out that there was no court case. It was just a strategy of government to make people believe they are on our side until some Minister revealed that the union of employers gave government money to stop this gazette thing. That’s why the Minister of Police ordered police to shoot people.”