President HICHILEMA assures transporters

By Joy Nyambe

President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA has assured players in the transport sector of total support from his government.

President HICHILEMA says his government will give favour and priority to Zambian transport owners and drivers as they conduct the movement of people and cargo.

He made the assurance when he met stakeholders in the transport and logistics sector at the Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola today.

President HICHILEMA also assured the stakeholders that all the issues they raised during the meeting will be addressed.

And the President said the continued loss of lives on the roads is a source of concern.

He said in as much as the idea of the 24-hour economy is good, there’s a need to first find ways of addressing road carnage.

And Transport and Logistics Minister FRANK TAYALI admitted the delay by government in addressing some of the challenges brought forth during the meeting.

Mr. TAYALI cited among them, the regulation of online taxi operators, motor cyclists and illegal bus stops.

He said a gazette notice has already been issued and the Statutory Instrument to regulate online taxi operators is now law.

Meanwhile, Copperbelt Minister ELISHA MATAMBO said the meeting with the transport players is a clear commitment by President HICHILEMA to support the sector.

And Local Government and Rural Development Minister GARY NKOMBO has directed all councils to identify free spaces to create truck parks in order to alleviate the sufferings of transporters.

Meanwhile, Housing and Infrastructure Minister CHARLES MILUPI said life will be easier for transporters as the UPND government is implementing the highest standard on all road infrastructure projects.

Earlier, different players in the transport and logistics sector presented their concerns to the head of state

Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia Secretary General BENSON TEMBO said it is unfair that foreign transporters continue being given preference in the transportation of finished petroleum products at the expense of Zambians.

And National Spokesperson for the Public Passenger Transport Operators AMIS DAUDI called for a streamlined regulatory framework to ease the cost of doing business for operators.

Coach Drivers Union of Zambia president LUCKFORD NKANA said there is need to promote capacity among drivers by making defensive driving compulsory.

And Zambia Union of Tanker Drivers Secretary General JOHN CHANGWE said the creation of a Drivers’ Desk at State House is timely.

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