Drivers protesting fuel price hikes in Livingstone
Drivers protesting fuel price hikes in Livingstone

Police moved in to quell riots that broke out in Livingstone Wednesday morning.Police rounded up 54 taxi drivers and other vendors who were protesting.
The riots which were concentrated in the city centre saw irate drivers fight running battles with armed police officers.The drivers were protesting over the recent hike in fuel pump prices by the Energy Regulation Board.

One protesting taxi driver, said fuel was very expensive and RTSA and ZRA fees had also gone up which made life unbearable.He said police officers were also making the life of taxi drivers
difficult by impounding them and hence they resolved to protest.Another taxi driver interviewed said the hiked RTSA and ZRA fees were promoting traffic police officers to be corrupt and taxi drivers could not to raise the fees which were being asked for.

He asked Government to find a way of easing the life of taxi drivers as the situation was not good for them.

“It is not fair that road taxes have gone up while ZRA fees and identify charges have also been hiked and now we have high fuel prices. We are not thieves but we are Zambians,” he said.

Mr. Ngambi, a taxi driver, explained that road tax which was at K96 was currently at K150 while the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) charges had increased to K450 from the previous K300 with the road service license standing at K470 from K313.

Mr Ngambi said despite having challenges for them to make a daily cashing with the increased fuel prices, there was also a shortage of fuel in the tourist capital.He said it was unfair for the Government to keep quiet when prices for commodities and services were being increased almost at the same time,making the cost of living unbearable for most Zambians.

He said all the taxi drivers were demanding for was an immediate reduction especially on the taxes, saying it was becoming impossible for them to reach their daily cashing target there by making it difficult to provide for their families.

He said it was unfair for the Government to keep quiet when prices for commodities and services were being increased almost at the same time

“We have families to take care of, now with these increased fuel prices and taxes, how are we going to cash in and what will our families eat? We have rentals to pay and school fees for our children to offset. So we are asking for the government to intervene and look into our plight,” Mr Ngambi said.

The taxi drivers blocked the main roads into the city centre with stones and logs and threw stones at police officers.Business came to a standstill in the Livingstone Central Business District as Police officers fought running battles with protesting taxi drivers.

Taxi drivers, who resolved not to carry passengers,closed the main Mosi-oa-tunya Road leading to Victoria Falls with stones as well as drums and logs while burning tyres, which prompted the police to use teargases to disperse them.Taxies and other pirated vehicles, which were spotted carrying passengers, were attacked and had their vehicles stoned.

The police continued patrolling the streets and removed the drums but stones and burnt tyres were still in the streets by mid-day while other motorists had to by-pass the town centre to access other parts of Livingstone for their safety.

Livingstone District Commissioner Omar Munsanje called for calm among taxi drivers as Government had heard their complaints.

“I have met representatives of the Livingstone Taxi Drivers Association and I asked them to calm their colleagues as we address their concerns.

Some shop owners and individual persons talked to said there was need for the Government to address the issue and see how best they could strike a balance with RTSA especially on taxes.

“We feel for the taxi drivers especially that most taxes have been increased by over 100 per cent, but the best thing they can do is to dialogue with RTSA and the government,” a concerned shop owner, who opted for anonymity, said.

Efforts to reach Southern Province Commissioner of Police Mary Chikwanda proved futile as she did not pick up her mobile phone.

Police fighting running battles with protestors
Police trying to restore calm and order in Livingstone
Drivers protesting fuel price hikes in Livingstone
Drivers protesting fuel price hikes in Livingstone
Stones placed by protestors in Livingstone
Stones placed by protestors in Livingstone
Drivers protesting fuel price hikes in Livingstone
Drivers protesting fuel price hikes in Livingstone
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19 COMMENTS

  1. i condemn violence by anyone. however, why did RATSA increase their taxes mid year. we know that this is done at the start of a year as this is something that parliament approve of for the budget. so when did parliament approve this increase? is it indicating in the estimates for revenue and expenditure for the current year? i think these are kicks of a dying horse. i said it repeatedly that i feel for anyone who was going to take over from MCS. a lot of us take things at face value but the damage were started by MCS and now the effects are being heaped on EL (not to say he doesnt share in the blame). Chikwanda is a wrong finance minister. the current government knows only spending without fiscal discipline. ubunga kulinganya na menshi bane

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    • Only poor people riot. They take pleasure in destroying property because they want everyone to be at their level. What do they need fuel for anyway?

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    • Iwe chi Edgar Ubwalwa Lungu can you now release the tax drivers you have arrested without delay. You are fulish drunkard.

      Edgar Lungu influenced the fuel hike so that he can fundraise.

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    • And yet these are the same PF police who have FAILED to arrest PF secretary general, Davies Chama the BANDIT over his attempted murder on a UPND member!

      All these demonstrations is due to the FAILURES of PF & its VISIONLESS leadership without PLAN.

      Hey visionless PF, when will load shedding end seeing that you also FAILED to fix the ECONOMY &KWACHA? Actually these are not only your failures PF, it 4 years now & you’ve lambently failed to provide the CONSTITUTION! PF these are concoctions, illusions & sickness of your own Donchi Kubeba syndrome.

      11 months left for PF BANDITS to be kicked out democratically as their failures are proving so. Only PF cadres are above the PF police.

      Livingston STOP the violence, its for PF cadres!

      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~
      Vote Wisely!

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  2. the daily subsistence allowance for a PS upwards is 1700. now we all know how many people move with a minister or PS. this means for a single trip, you have gobbled more than 100million. this is not even a presidential visit or a foreign trip. surely with such a bloated cabinet/ministries, how do you expect to remain with any funds in the treasury? so the easy way is to borrow so that people are hoodwinked into believing a mirage of so called development. these people dont even understand the meaning of development – they think doing roads is big development when infact its begins with access of basic services such as food, shelter, clean water and clothing, education and health follows and then realization of potential. anyway pungwa tasakamana ……………..

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    • Nubian princess who cannot afford a torn nika and has no kabudula…..learn to keep that contaminated chimuboo of yours shut! We are talking of people’s lives here.

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  3. @nubiana princess – you are addressing the fruits not the root cause of problems. the question you need to ask is WHY are they rioting? the action is bad but the cause ought to be understood. its like you find a man walking stark naked in the street – if you dont find out why he is naked, you may just conclude that he is a chainama candidate but if you asked why then you will get an answer – probably someone has just stolen all his clothes.

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  4. The same way they are explaining things here is the way they could have done without riot! Why not choose a representative and meet their MP to take up the issue at a higher level instead of causing chaos,endangering peace,personal security and property! Some of the Customers they depend on are tourists and once they hear about riots they develop cold feet and may not come for sometime! Who looses even more? They have a genuine point but this propensity for violence should be condemned by any well meaning Zambian!!

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    • The only language the leaders listen to is riot and very rare will they listen until after a riot like this. Dont they know that increasing many things at one time is bad?

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    • ba nyau, this is the docility we talk about kaili. You are so tame and effeminized that to you fyonse kulanda. I bet na bakabwalala baisa pa nganda, imwe nimwe who choose to talk to them so that they dont harm your family. Ati ok,” just rape my wife one time, if you promise you will not rape our three teenage daughters, agreed?” A man has to stand and fight sometimes. Any man who brings anarchy or threatens your family and livelihood is not to be negotiated with. Fight back with all your might. We have done enough talking with these politicians and they take us for granted. Its time we hammered back by also putting fear in them. Next we will march to their houses and machete them and their families for their crimes if they dont get their act right. A man has to be a man.

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  5. If i had powers, i would ask Edgar Lungu to step down today, and Ngosa Simbyakula take over as entrime President before 2016, and hand over power to HH in 2016.
    Lungu; you are already poluted yoself by careless drinking of Kachasu no wonder we call you Kachasu Man.
    God help us, Edgar Lungu is a failure. He even fails to clean his teeth.

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    • Kaili you are an 1diot using a fake name but talking as if u av courage. You are always talking trash with so much bitterness because of your ka small dickk and pretend ur a woman. Nothing good can come out of your stinky mouth cos I av never seen u say anything sensible. Even if some one wanted to start supporting HH, it’s f00lish people like you destroying upnd. You can’t just debate without insults????

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  6. Government needs to stop the importation of vehicles for MPs and ministers. Economy is calling. Minister of finance needs to vacate his post.

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  7. The courts of law should cage these rascals immediately for 5 years with hard labour. Why did’t they just increase the fairs as they do always?

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  8. They always say experience is the best teacher. What we have done ourselves as Zambians will boomerang at us. We were given a chance to change thinge thinge things. If HH was the head this time we should have made our mind to redirect him, but alas we put in office the same batch of thieves who do not even know how to run their own homes or even having a business venture of their own. What did you expect from a man who told you that I shall do what you people will tell me to do. Look at the way things are going, in the process of doing what you people want him to do, he has over-spend. The government is completely hard up right now because of lack of foresight. Lungu has no foresight to know that what the results will be even if these people want what ever they demand for.

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  9. Dont complain, this is your own making because in 2011 you were duped by the father of lies, who promised lower taxes, no load shedding, new constitution within 90 days and lower mealie meal prices, which things are nowhere to be seen. The people who are enjoying are those in govt or with govt contracts. It is like someone promising to give a lady a baby within 90 days and yet you don’t ask how. Is it a human baby or broiler baby that should be born within 90 days? I agree with TB Joshua when he said that when you are duped, both the one duped and the one who is duped have sinned. The one who is duped did not give a thought how this was going to be possible while the one who dupes the other is already a sinner. Creation of 1 million Employment and changing Zambia within 90 days how?

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  10. These fuel hikes and RATSA increaments do not affect PF cadres and its members. This is a PF to punish opposition groups and their relatives both in shanty compounds and rulal areas. Zambia police does not arrest PF cadres as all PF cadres have more money in their pockets. Advice to the opposition is to work hard and fend for yourselves, meet the hardships heads on by being creative and innovative not only to survive but to endure arrests and beatings from the PF police.

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  11. In African countries, politics is about leaders enriching themselves. Even those who are already rich, want to protect their riches whether genuinely acquired or ill obtained wealth. Rich people are always getting government contracts often with inflated figures and they do not care. It is painful to see the level of poverty in Zambia. No social protection for the vulnerable, it like living in a jungle. Only the rich will rule over the poor. There is no hope.

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Comments are closed.