Truck drivers at the Mukambo border post in Mufurila District have protested over continued alleged harassment by Congolese Nationals. Scores of unhappy drivers alleged that some unscrupulous Congolese have been attacking and killing truck drivers whenever they fail to pay the demanded amount at the checkpoint in the Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC). One of the victims has told LusakaTime News that for a long time now, attacks have been reported but authorities from that country are unresponsive yet international truck drivers are the cornerstone of its thriving economy.
He adds that the move taken is in response to the latest attacks that have not only infuriated Zambians but other drivers from as far as Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzanian among others. According to the drivers, the alleged attacks have been happening for some years now and the situation has become worse leading to drivers being killed nearly every month. As a result truck drivers have decided not to enter into the neighbouring DRC until security measures are put in place to protect them.
Saturday morning social media was flooding with images of truck drivers who were shutting down the Mukambo border post. The drivers are appealing to the UPND Government to intervene in this matter and ensure that the challenges being faced by truck drivers are addressed.
And confirmed reports are coming in that another Zambian truck driver was attacked and killed by unknown people in the neighbouring Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC). Efforts to get a comment from the SADC Drivers Association proved futile as phone calls went unanswered during broadcast time.
Meanwhile in the Ndola district truck drivers at Sakanya Border Post on the Copperbelt Province have bemoaned insecurities in the Decorticate Republic of Congo (DRC) where cross-border trade has become a deadly cat and mouse game. The drivers revered to Lusaka Times News that even in some cases police officers of that country are allegedly involved in the extortion of armed drivers who are brutalities if they don’t comply with bribes. The groups that dispersed traders during the protest have vowed to have their concerns heard because they feel the issues have been prolonged and are being ignored by leaders in the SADC Region. A clearing agent Joshua Moyo complains that the continued harassment once inside the DRC is affecting businesses such as his because not many are keen to cross the other side of the border. Mr Moyo says the Zambian government must urgently engage its neighbour to end the unprovoked attracts that are disrupting regional trade.