Police, Kabaza operators clash in Thyolo


Police were forced to fire teargas after Kabaza operators blocked a road and pelted police houses with stones following police’s decision to confiscate motorcycle taxis.

On Tuesday, during morning hours, police confiscated all motorcycles meant for kabaza following government’s order that motorcycles should be registered.

This development did not please Kabaza operators and they in turn decided to protest.
Police as usual, dispersed all protestors by firing teargas which affected all business people at Thyolo Boma market but this did not materialize as protestors kept on demonstrating.

Protestors then went beyond police lines and started pelting stones into officers’ houses.
The Police Mobile Force was later called in to control the protresters.

In an interview, one of the Kabaza operators Alex John, whose motorcycle has not been seized, said police stormed their rank and confiscated motorcycles of everyone at the rank.

“They just came and start grabbing motorcycles saying we have to register them. But government could have reversed this decision because we rely on these motorcycles in order to put something on the table.

“We pay school fees through Kabaza business, then if they take what we rely on how are we going to survive?. Jobs are scarce so we opted for kabaza as alternative way of getting something to survive,” said John.

He added: “Better at first they said we must have helmet and we were following but this decision to register, have a license and the tariff attached is a burden to us.”