Reports say Ralikonelo “Leqhashasha” Joki, who worked for Ts’enolo FM radio station, was shot at least 13 times by unknown assailants in Maseru as he left the studio at 10pm after his Sunday evening show.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Lesotho chapter stated that Joki's untimely death was an evident effort to suppress journalists. Known for his critical analysis of politicians and government policies, his current affairs show fearlessly tackled pressing issues. Joki had been subjected to death threats due to work. In 2021, he made headlines by uncovering a scandal involving five politicians engaged in the illegal alcohol trade.
Police said any residents found to be on the streets between 10pm and 4am will be arrested and will have to pay a fine or face two years in prison.
Implemented on Tuesday, the newly imposed curfew is a part of the government's efforts to tackle gun violence and address the alarming murder rate in Lesotho, a small southern African country.
According to the recent World Population Review report, Lesotho ranks third in the world for its homicide rate, surpassed only by El Salvador and Jamaica. The report reveals that Lesotho records 43.5 murders per 100,000 individuals, while El Salvador has 52 and Jamaica has 43.8.