Fuel hauliers call off strike after assurance from Bowman Lusambo

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Over 50 Tanker Drivers in Ndola have downed  tools petitioning the Energy Regulations Board (ERB) though the Ministry of Energy to put up a Statutory of Instrument to stop foreign tanker Drivers from getting fuel from the sources up  the final consumer, a situation they described is disadvantaging them. PICTURES BY FRANK CHING'AMBU/ZANIS
Over 50 Tanker Drivers in Ndola have downed tools petitioning the Energy Regulations Board (ERB) though the Ministry of Energy to put up a Statutory of Instrument to stop foreign tanker Drivers from getting fuel from the sources up the final consumer, a situation they described is disadvantaging them.
PICTURES BY FRANK CHING’AMBU/ZANIS

FUEL hauliers have called off their strike following an emergency meeting with Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo who has assured that the drivers’ concerns will be addressed.

One of the key decisions was to ensure that Sahara and Dalbit, two foreign companies contracted by Government to supply fuel to Tazama, would offer 20 percent of the transportation business Zambian truckers.

The drivers downed tools on Wednesday in a move to press for a larger share of business to move fuel supply to local companies like mining firms and the airports which they claimed were dominated by foreigners.

Zambia Association of Tanker Drivers and Allied Workers (ZATDAW) general secretary Humphrey Kapesha said the decision to resume work was arrived at following yesterday’s meeting.

Mr Kapesha said following the meeting, the two suppliers were requested to give local transporters a fair share of the business.

Mr Kapesha said it was not the union’s desire to hold the Government to ransom as the strike had an adverse effect on the economy.

“The drivers have agreed that in the interim, after signing the contracts, that they go back for work because we cannot hold the economy to ransom. We will have a meeting with the Minister of Energy over those engaged to take fuel to the mines,” he said.

It was hoped that the meeting, a policy would be put in place that would favour the local drivers and also keep foreigner firms from handling and transporting fuel directly to the mines.

He said the 20 percent allocation would be given collectively to the Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ), who would in turn divide it among the 32 local transporters.

Meanwhile, Energy Permanent Secretary Emelda Chola said in a statement that the tanker drivers were aware that everything possible was being done to improve their welfare following consultative meetings that ended on Wednesday in Livingstone.

“It is from these consultative meetings that the Ministry learnt of the Zambian driver’s entry charges into Tanzania. These charges have since been removed. The cry of drivers has been heard and all the fuel suppliers have been tasked to give us reports on how many Zambian drivers have been contracted and over what period. We are currently awaiting responses from our suppliers before any action can be taken,” she said.

She reaffirmed that Government had prioritised empowering of local transporters by ensuring that a minimum of 20 percent local transportation was a contractual matter in all suppliers’ contracts.

“The Ministry will insist that this is implemented if the on-going assessment of this matter reveals that our suppliers are exclusively using foreign transporters. We therefore, urge the fuel tanker drivers to immediately stop their boycott as their grievances are being addressed,” she added.

15 COMMENTS

  1. +1
    -9
    vote

    Zambians are blind ,Africa is one and there is no way people within africa to be called foreigners instead of calling their nationalities.Let those Tanzanian companies continue with zambian government duties.
    Zambians have not moved that is why they are behaving like that.
    Go to china where there are so many companies and you can’t see such talks and any behave like that take him or her to china so that they learn

  2. vote

    Zambian transporters should behave and not be selfish this is a global village. Soon it will be you been chased from other countries.

    • vote

      Do you think those foreigner companies are here for Charity?A company exists only if its making a profit,basic knowledge. Nowonder a chaps like you are always working for peanuts and you blame Government kanshi its coz of your illiteracy. Its not rocket science to transport goods by road. You have made me throw up you punk

  3. +2
    -2
    vote

    Look at how dirty ndola looks under pf. Disgusting. Dirty minded leaders means dirty surroundings. Thugs like lusambo ati minister kikiki

  4. +4
    0
    vote

    Zambia hhas been very lenient went it comes to foreign investers, for instance when Zambian drivers were charge a sum of $200 to drive through Tanzania and its not easy for a Zambian truck to have a back-load from Tanzania! Let foreign trucks transport products to deports then we do the distribution and carry atleast 20% of the international share. Is that too much for a country man to ask? Do you know how many Zambian trucks are parked right now? We are not kicking foregners out but we can’t park the few trucks we own and see others benefit, while we watch. We only want 20% and 80% goes the other investers, isn’t that fare?

  5. +1
    0
    vote

    I think it’s very clear, let the locals benefit as well. At first Zambian transporters did have the capacity to transport some of these goods from outside as we defended much on Tazara and our transporters never bothered to venture into cross border transport. I think I’m proud to see our own Juba Transport now carrying fuel from South Africa, they have proven that they have the capacity to compete in the transport industry. We need to see more even in the transportation of copper.

  6. +1
    0
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    That is the way to empower Zambians. They need 90% of business. The only problem is that majority of locals even if you empower them, they end up killing the economy just like the Chinese do. No matter how much contracts they win, they subtract from the economy i.e. they don’t employ their fellow Zambians, buy road tax, fitness, insurance, bank their money, pay school fees, ZRA, rent proper houses from Mulungushi Village or Millenium Village but they continue living in shanty compounds like other less privileged. All these expenses are critical to plough back to national economy. They export their money outside the country through foreign prostitutes of Chawama who buy US Dollars immediately they are paid & send it home using bus drivers at Intercity.

  7. vote

    @8 Mbwela, I YOU ARE VERY RIGHT! Trouble is that some bloggers comment from theory,without reality check! The examples you have given are REAL! TANZANIA’s and many other NATIONALITIES ARE GREEDY AND NATIONALISTIC! WE EXPORT AND IMPORT SO MUCH THROUGH DAR PORT, BUT HOW MUCH OF THAT TRADE IS CARRIED BY OUR OWN TRANSPORTERS?? EVEN OUR BUSES HAVE FAILED TO OPERATE THERE AND YET WE HAVE OUR OWN PEOPLE GOING THERE FOR BUSINESS QUITE FREQUENTLY! MOST of these foreigners pretend to be good but are a BUNCHY OF GREEDY AND NON-PAN AFRICANISTS! We should PAY THEM BACK WITH THEIR ACTS!

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