By AARON CHIYANZO
HAKAINDE Hichilema did not sponsor the truck drivers to protest so eyes should not be rolled on him, the United Party for National Development (UPND) has said.
It also demanded that Government should give the ‘irate’ drivers an ear and answer their concerns.
This follows public concerns that the opposition leader could have been the architect of the protests by the truck drivers at the weekend.
“We know Hakainde has become so powerful and now everything is blamed on him. Even bad weather is now blamed on Hakainde. HH has nothing to do with these protests,” UPND spokesperson, Charles Kakoma said.
Mr Kakoma said Government should hear the cries of the truck drivers and address them.
He said threats by Labour Minister, Joyce Simukoko, to revoke the recognition certificate of the union for truck drivers were misplaced.
Mr Kakoma said citizens had a right to protest when they were not being heard by Government.
Meanwhile, Government has implored transporters across the country to ensure that they pay truck
Transport and Communications Minister, Mutotwe Kafwaya, said there was need to employ local drivers as opposed to engaging foreign ones.
The minister told Smart Eagles in Ndola that there was need for the employers to engage their workers on matters relating to conditions of service.
Mr Hichilema early this year annoyed truck drivers when he failed to fulfil promises to them for supporting his campaign in the 2021 elections.
This followed a meeting at the UPND secretariat on January 6, 2020 with over 80 truck, taxi and bus drivers, led by Kelvin Katongo, the national secretary for the Truck Drivers for Change 2021 where Mr Hichilema urged them to intensify campaigns for the party in readiness for the next elections.
By AARON CHIYANZO