Lesotho calls curfew after murder of journalist

The Kingdom of Lesotho has declared a night curfew after a prominent investigative journalist was shot dead in the capital, Maseru, by unknown gunmen.

Ralikonelo Joki was killed shortly after he left work at the privately-owned Tsénolo FM radio on Sunday night.

The station’s manager Mshengu Shabalala said the journalist was shot twice as he was driving out of the station’s premises, local media said.

Minister of Police Lebona Lephema, in a televised address on Monday, said there would be no movement from 22:00 to 04:00 local time starting Tuesday.

Mr Lephema said the curfew “is to ensure order is restored” amid escalating crime cases in the country.

The killing of the journalist has sparked uproar, with the Committee to Protect Journalists calling for credible investigations and prosecution of those responsible.

Several journalists have over the past few years either been shot, assaulted or fled Lesotho over threats because of their work.

In 2016, a group of soldiers wounded Lloyd Mutungamiri, then editor of the Lesotho Times, days after his newspaper published a report critical of the defence forces.

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