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Lusa - Business News - Mozambique: Minibus drivers down tools in protest over fuel rises

Maputo,July.4,2022(Lusa)-The 'chapas', light vehicles that serve as public transport in Maputo, stopped on Monday in protest against the rising cost of fuel, causing long queues and confusion in some areas of the Mozambican capital.
Several people told Lusa that drivers had pulled the vehicles over at the main terminals on the capital's outskirts, forcing users to stay long at the stops before ending up walking several kilometres or returning home.
Police were deployed at some main bus terminals, such as Xipamanine, Xiquelene, Compone, Zimpeto, Benfica, Malhazine and Magoanine.
Some buses tried to "break through the picket lines" but were prevented by their colleagues, who demanded the removal of the passengers on board.
Fearing looting, informal vendors did not put their products for sale on some pavements of avenues and streets of Maputo, as is usual in this type of activity.
Some "Chapa" drivers gathered in small groups at the bus stops, singing popular Mozambican songs.
Speaking to private channel TV Miramar today, the president of the Mozambican Federation of Road Associations (Fematro), Castigo Nhamane, considered the actions of the transporters spontaneous but said he understood the protest due to the government's delay in accepting the rise in the price of travel.
"These are sporadic stoppages, but if fuel prices continue to rise, we don't know what could happen. The worst could happen," Nhamane said, without being more specific.
In the wake of the strike, some students and workers have been unable to reach schools and workplaces in Maputo, forcing several educational establishments and businesses to operate at half-gas.
On Friday, Mozambique's Energy Regulatory Authority (Arene) announced the third fuel price hike this year, with cooking gas prices rising by almost 20%.
The new prices have been in effect since Saturday.
Petrol rose from 83.30 meticais (€1.24) per litre to 86.97 meticais (€1.30) and diesel went from 78.97 meticais (€1.18) to 87.97 meticais (€1.32) per litre.
In 2008 and 2010, the increase in the price of road transport, accompanied by a rise in the cost of essential goods and services, led to popular uprisings in some of the country's main cities, resulting in clashes with the police and destruction in some places.

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-07-05 10:20:00


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