Nakonde Border Post Closed As Strike Persists

The Nakonde border in Northern Province has been temporarily closed following a strike action by striking Tanzanian truck drivers who became violent this morning.

There was tension at the border post as the irate drivers ran amok bringing business at both Tunduma and Nakonde border to a stand still.

They also attempted to set on fire a fuel tanker belonging to one of the companies in Tanzania carrying fuel destined for Zambia.

However, quick action by the Zambia Police and their Tanzanian counterparts saved the fuel tanker from being set on fire.

The tanker has since been escorted by armed Zambia police officers and it is parked at Nakonde police station.

The strike action by the Tanzanian truck drivers which has entered day-4 today failed to be resolved yesterday during a meeting addressed by the Mbeya Region minister John Mwakipesile at Tunduma border in Tanzania.

Paramilitary police officers in both Zambia and Tanzania are keeping vigil to thwart any violence by the drivers.

The chanting drivers said their strike action can only be called off after their grievances have been met in full.

The truck drivers are demanding for increased salaries and improved conditions of service.

They have vowed to continue with their strike action saying time has come for them to speak and demand for what is right and good for them.

The international drivers are now demanding to be addressed by the Tanzanian Republican President Jakaya Kikwete or his vice president saying their issue is very serious and should be addressed by senior Government officials and not regional officials.

The strike action has affected revenue collection by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RATSA) offices at Nakonde.

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