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The city of Maputo woke up with the main semi-collective passenger transport stations under riot police and Rapid Intervention Unit (FIR) control following an anonymous call for a ‘chapa’ strike to protest at the fuel price rise.
Rapid Intervention Unit armoured vehicles were stationed at the main stops at around four o’clock this morning, and heavily armed patrols circulated on the main “semicolectivos” routes. The vehicles are stationed at the roundabout of 24 de Julho, Praça dos Combatentes (“Xiquelene”), Missão Roque, ‘Descampado da Base Aérea’, Malhazine, Malhampsene, T3 and Santa Isabel, as well as elsewhere.
The anonymous strike call came by mobile phone and social media on Sunday night, where a notice was posted reading: “All the semicollective carriers are warned of a stoppage to take place on 04/03/2007, in order to put pressure on the government to value our activity. We will resume operations when the government stops lying and puts into practice subsidies or approves fare increases of 20 meticais in Matola and Maputo and 15 meticais elsewhere.”
The notice also states that “All ‘My Loves’ carrying people will be vandalized if they hinder activity, operate in daylight, are exempt from tax liability and do not pay a fee.” ‘My Loves’ are cargo and cattle trucks now being used as public transport in the capital.
The government raised the price of petrol from 50.02 to 56.06 meticais per litre and diesel from 45.83 to 51.89 last month.Source: Canalmoz