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SOUTHERN Africa Development Community- Truck Drivers Association of Zambia (SADC-TDA) has hailed President Hakainde Hichilema for his call for the region to protect foreign truck drivers.

During his speech on Monday in Durban at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATR) 2021, Mr Hichilema urged African countries to begin to protect the lives of foreign truck drivers who transport goods and services on the continent.

Commenting on the statement, SADC-TDA Secretary General Kaiko Wamunyima said that the call by the Zambian leader was timely.

“As SADC Truck Drivers’ Association, we would like to commend President Hakainde Hichilema for speaking on the need to protect foreign truck drivers during his speech at the intra-Africa trade fair in South Africa,” he said 

Mr Wamunyima told the Daily Nation in Livingstone that the Head of State’s message comes at a time when many truck drivers in foreign countries are subjected to mistreatment, a situation which may not encourage continental trade. 

“As an association, we are happy that the head of state has heard our cry over this burning issue because if not well addressed by African leaders, the much-needed trade which truck drivers are part of may not succeed,” Mr Kaiko said. 

“We have said time and again, that truck drivers are key drivers of economies in Africa, therefore they must be treated with dignity they deserve by every country in the region,” he said.

He thanked President Hichilema for representing the plight of truck drivers very well adding that he is confident his message to other African leaders was clear. 

“This gives us hope as drivers that if commitments can be made at a higher level, we are then assured of safety as we continue driving the wheels of the economy in Africa,” he said .

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