International

Mozambique ‘riots over motorcycle taxi ban’

Many people across Africa depend on Motorcycle taxis as a form of affordable transport

Rioting broke out in the Mozambican port city of Nacala on Wednesday after the authorities tried to ban motorcycle taxis, according to a report in Thursday’s issue of the newspaper Noticias.

The justification for the ban is that the close proximity between the cyclist and his passenger facilitates transmission of coronavirus.

On Wednesday morning, the police seized two motorbikes. Motorbike taxi drivers reacted with protests, erecting barricades and blocking the main road through the city, the newspaper reports.

Some of the rioters looted market stalls and shops, it adds.

The police reportedly used tear gas and fired into the air to disperse the protesters.

The spokesperson for the Nacala District Police Command is quoted as saying that 11 people, believed to be ringleaders in the rioting, had been arrested.

On Wednesday afternoon the government lifted the ban on the taxis, provided the driver and passenger wear face masks.