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Truck drivers fearful of xenophobic attacks stuck at Kazungula border

Truck drivers fearful of xenophobic attacks stuck at Kazungula border


By ANDREW MUKOMA
HUNDREDS of Zambian trucks carrying goods bound for South Africa are marooned at the Kazungula border, with drivers refusing to complete deliveries following reports of insecurity in that country.
The drivers fear that they would be victims of the reported xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
South African truck drivers have reportedly been blockading national roads protesting the employment of foreign nationals, demanding improved conditions of service and issues relating to professional driving permits.
Zambian truckers have vowed not to leave the country until their safety could be guaranteed.
The drivers claimed that a number of Zambian truck drivers were being jailed for driving South African-owned trucks.
One of the drivers, Mr David Mutale said attacks on roads targeting Zambians had claimed the lives of several foreign truck drivers in recent months.
Mr Mutale said no truck driver was willing to leave for South Africa if the government does not provide security along the roads, Mr Mutale said.
” . . . If the government of South Africa is not going to take any action … we are going to discuss this issue with our government and make sure that no person will enter that country,” he said.
“You see, these guys have been hijacking people, not only hijacking people, but killing drivers,” Mr Mutale said.
Mr Mutale said that drivers often put their lives on the line to deliver commodities to countries such as South Africa and Congo DR, and that it was not fair that they were being targeted.
What all the drivers want, he said, was protection.
“Let them make sure that we have full support of security,” he said. “No driver should be killed, no goods should be stolen,”
On Monday, South African authorities met with the protesting truck drivers and small truck operators who had blockaded the N9 and the N10 highways outside Middleburg.
From the engagements, the issue of employment of foreign nationals featured strongly in their demands.

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