20.6 C
Sunday, July 14, 2024

5 Zimbabwean truck drivers missing in DRC

- Advertisement -

DRC – Five J&J Africa Transport truck drivers are missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after their manager allegedly unleashed thugs and the DRC cops to harass them after they staged a strike at Kasumbalesa border post.

The truckers are striking over a health risk allowance of US$500 which they claim to not have received since December last year.

According to Zimbabwe Professional Drivers, several drivers were injured when the mentioned thugs attacked the striking drivers.

- Advertisement -

J&J general manager Vikram Singh said the company is aware of the situation in the DRC and that they are trying by all means to bring back the situation to normal.

“We are aware of the issues and we are doing our utmost to resolve them with our drivers,” said Singh.

Read also: Truck Driving In DRC For Foreign Drivers – Dos And Don’ts

- Advertisement -

Other drivers were allegedly apprehended by the Police and fined between US$50 and US$220 without doing anything wrong.

J&J Transport is one of the largest trucking and logistics companies on the Beira corridor and it employs 400 Zimbabwean truck drivers. 210 of them who were either waiting to load minerals at Mutanda Mine in DRC or at Kasumbalesa Border Post are on strike.

The drivers are striking over a health risk allowance of US$500 which they claim was not paid since December last year. The drivers transport some dangerous substances.

The drivers transport sulphur from Beira to Mutanda Mine, the biggest cobalt mine in the world. On their return trip to Beira in Mozambique they carry copper and cobalt hydroxide.

An internal message in the drivers’ group says J&J management went into panic mode when the drivers parked their more than 200 vehicles thereby disrupting delivery schedules.

- Advertisement -

They allegedly attempted to involve DRC Police and some hooligans to attack the drivers and push them into returning to work. The attacks saw drivers abandoning vehicles and running away into the forest where the five drivers then went missing.

J&J assistant general manager, Albert Bere also confirmed the situation on Tuesday.

The drivers are said to be regrouping on the Zambian side of the border to establish how many fellow drivers are missing.

“We have communicated in our drivers’ WhatsApp group that all drivers come to the Zambian side so that we can make a head count and get the actual figure of those missing. Three drivers were apprehended and made to pay fines of between US$50 and US$220 by DRC officials.

“The company directors and management are ruthless because they are not concerned with our health, but their business only. We have so far lost two drivers to lung diseases that are caused by the dangerous substances that we carry. How can a man a manager hire thugs to attack his subordinates?

“We are baffled that someone who is a chairperson of Transport Operators Association of Zimbabwe (TOAZ) and signatory at the Bargaining Council of Zimbabwe can treat his workers like that?” he said.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Similar Stories