Ver Angola


Police detained 57 people in Lubango at protests against fuel hikes

Police detained 57 people for various crimes in Lubango, capital of Huíla province, following protests by taxi drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers due to the rise in the price of gasoline, the municipal commander said on Wednesday.


According to the commander of Lubango of the National Police, Fernando Hamueyla, different situations were recorded: one, the stoppage of taxi and motorcycle taxi services, "which is not a crime", but there were situations that "under the terms of the penal code constitute a crime".

"Like, for example, burning tires on public roads, interdicting the circulation of vehicles, hitting people who wanted to work, circulating, this already constitutes a crime and it was in these terms that the police intervened to restore the normal functioning of services and institutions and on this path 57 people were arrested yesterday", said the police officer to Lusa.

Fernando Hamueyla underlined that some of those involved were arrested for participating in a riot, namely burning tires on the roads, vandalizing traffic signs and other vandalized public goods.

Some of the detainees are accused of the crime of damage, in the case of burning a bus, damaging doors and windows, theft of a television set and other property belonging to the administration of the Nambambe neighbourhood.

The commander of the National Police in Lubango stressed that during the protest there was use of criminals, who entered the administration to vandalize, damage and steal means.

The police also seized 40 motorcycles belonging to young people who participated in the riot, damaging public property and burning tires on the public road.

Despite the violent action of the demonstrators, with the throwing of stones, "no one was hurt, neither by the police nor by the civilians".

"Much less dead, the police managed to contain, using means proportional to the situation, in fact we didn't even use lethal weapons, we were careful, because none of the citizens were armed with lethal weapons either, they were just stones and we have means to protect ourselves from stones", highlighted.

The detainees will be present in the next few hours at the Public Prosecutor's Office, and the file is in the process of being concluded.

Fernando Hamueyla said that this Wednesday "is very calm", unlike Tuesday, where in the early hours of the day groups of taxi drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers paralyzed services to complain about the rise in gasoline prices and the late delivery of gasoline subsidy cards for this class.

"The vehicles circulate normally, especially the motorized ones, some 'Hiaces' [collective taxis], there is a timid circulation on the part of the Hiaces, very timid, that is a fact, but the bikers are working normally", he added.

Last Thursday, the Government announced the gradual withdrawal of the fuel subsidy, which began with gasoline, but exempting taxi drivers, motorcycle taxi drivers and artisanal fishing vessels.

For licensed professionals in these sectors, the Government promised the delivery of personalized cards, with a daily ceiling of 7000 kwanzas to cover the difference between 160 kwanzas per liter, which petrol cost and the current 300 kwanzas.

However, the delay in delivering the cards led to protests and clashes with the police in Lubango (Huíla province) and Huambo (Huambo province) where at least five people died and several were injured.

The government reacted on Tuesday to the riots, appealing for calm, and announcing that from this Wednesday the cards will also be distributed outside Luanda, being paid retroactively on the 2nd of June.

According to the Government, the exemption for these classes and the non-alteration of the price of diesel was intended to protect families and the rise in prices of the basic food basket, as well as to allow for social improvements.


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