Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Former Zambian Ambassador Anthony Mukwita Calls for Improved Wages and Conditions for Truck Drivers

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A former Zambian ambassador to Germany, Mr. Anthony Mukwita, has spoken out about the poor treatment and wages of truck drivers in the country following the recent disappearance of a copper-laden truck valued at $80,000 or K1.4 million.

“I almost dismissed it as ‘just another theft story’, but then I said, wait a minute, there is always a flip side to a coin,” Mr. Mukwita said in a statement. “The first question I asked was, ‘how much do truck drivers earn in Zambia per month as a wage’? ‘What kind of conditions do they work under driving invaluable goods from the heart of the Congo via Zambia, all the way to Durban or Dar es Salaam, or even from Ndola or Kitwe to Walvis Bay in Namibia?'”

According to Mr. Mukwita, truck drivers transporting valuable goods such as copper often earn as little as K980 ($52) per month, a wage that he calls “criminal.” He also raised concerns about the conditions in which these drivers work, often risking their lives to transport goods worth millions of dollars or billions of kwacha.

“Can you imagine trucking a 30-tonne truck full of copper or cobalt worth millions of kwacha, risking your life for US$160 per month,” Mr. Mukwita said.

Mr. Mukwita suggests that the low wages and poor treatment of truck drivers may contribute to incidents such as the recent disappearance of the copper truck. He calls for the labor department to establish a minimum wage for essential workers, including truck drivers, who risk their lives on a daily basis.

“What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander,” he said. “They could be nurses, soldiers’ cops etc because you cannot entrust your safety in the hands of an angry cop, security guard or chef. It’s a recipe for disaster, as in the story of the Zambian currently on the run with pay-dirt.”

The ambassador also highlights the need to address the underpayment of other essential workers in Zambia, such as nurses, soldiers, and police officers. He emphasizes the importance of ensuring that these workers are adequately compensated for their efforts, as their roles are essential for the safety and well-being of the public.

“How many other essential workers in Zambia are underpaid? Just food for thought folks as we enter the new year,” Mr. Mukwita said. “God bless you!”

In conclusion, Mr. Mukwita calls for greater attention to be paid to the plight of underpaid and overworked truck drivers in Zambia, as their conditions may have wider implications for the country.

11 COMMENTS

  1. MWIKITA SHOULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED TOGETHER WITH KAIZER ZULU. PF was in government for 10 years, how many times did the Truck Drivers protest poor conditions of service during that time?

    • Truck drivers should beat up Mukwita for lowering them to a level of street traders.
      LT we are still waiting for a new website with better stories than these alarmist like Mukwita.

    • He comes from Germany after all these years he remembers that their are people getting pantry wages…when he was abroad he was busy writing bogus autobiography about Lazy Lungu and even wooing rich with 5 year tax breaks going as far as to even avoid tax by registering another company after 5 years and staring the process again.

  2. Look who is talking; where have you been all this time? You were quiet because your mouth was full, but now you’ve found your voice in joblessness. The truck drivers were there under Lungu and you cared not to fight for them.

    Such a hypocrite.

  3. And during your 10years of earning a Gov salary, free housing and your children in private schools all for free, who was transporting this very copper? Aeroplanes?

    • He has come back from Germany now he has nothing to do he now starts writing nonsense like that other one from Ethiophia Emmanuel Mwamba.

  4. Because if i was Truck drivers, then definitely their conditions wouldnt have stayed the same for the whole 10years, and even worse then. 10yrs is a long time and many companies increase your salary every year. Now 10yrs and someone wants their conditions to increase only now in 2023. How about when you were in charge? Why was there no better conditions then?

  5. Low wages should not be an incentive to steal from your employer…why would you give the example of the lost copper-laden truck valued at $80,000…people like Anthony have criminal minds that’s why he can not just make a geniune call for wage increases. Are you not even ashamed that there has been no improvement in service and conditions for the past 10 years when your PF was in the Ruling Party. Since you are talking about wages how much are your colleagues at Times of Zambia still getting paid…you were rewarded with a diplomatic job for bootlicking when you were an Editor that you could afford to buy two plots you forgot about. You friends at Times can not even buy lunch to eat at midday.

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