Tanker drivers threaten to strike.
By NOEL IYOMBWA
LOCAL tanker drivers have threatened to go on strike if Government does not implement a 50 per cent quota to local fuel transporters.
Speaking on behalf of other drivers, Billian Manengo, said that despite the pronouncement, Government has continued giving foreign transporters to bring fuel into the country.
Mr Manengo stated that local transporters have the capacity to ferry fuel but that most of the contracts were being given to foreign transporters.
He said that local transporters who are engaged to transport the commodity are given second priority whenever they go and load in Mozambique and Tanzania.
Zambian transporters, he said, were forced to wait for more than two weeks for them to load while foreign trucks were being given priority.
The concerned drivers said as a result, they get stranded as they run out of pocket money.
The tanker drivers complained that back home, the situation was the same as foreign trucks offload before local trucks at TAZAMA.
Mr. Manengo said that unlike in Zambia where foreign drivers were allowed to sleep and cook in trucks, in Tanzania and Mozambique, Zambians were not allowed to do so which makes it more expensive.
He stated that they had decided to take up the matter because respective union leaders were intimidated.
Another driver, Francis Katongo, bemoaned lack sanitation facilities at TAZAMA fuel depot.
Mr. Katongo said that trucks are forced to spend days outside the depot without water and convenient rooms.
He said that drivers were forced to use drainages as toilets, a matter he said was a health hazard.