500 ‘harassed’ drivers marooned at Kasumbalesa

MWILA NTAMBI, Chililabombwe
OVER 500 trucks from different countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are marooned at Kasumbalesa Border in Chililabombwe because they are afraid of being harassed if they cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Chil i labombwe di s t r ict commissioner Paul Mulenga said this yesterday when Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo paid a courtesy call on him.
“All SADC drivers have parked their trucks on the Zambian side because they are being harassed when they cross into Congo. The harassment is done in full view of police officers even at the `no man’s land’,” Mr Mulenga said.
He appealed to Government to quickly engage its Congolese counterpart so that a lasting solution to the problem is found.
“We don’t know why our colleagues are doing this because we are a peaceful people. Maybe they are doing this because we arrested 78 Congolese nationals for entering Zambia illegally. They are detained in Chingola,” he said.
And Mr Lusambo said Government was committed to co-operating with its Congolese counterpart to find a lasting solution for the drivers’ concerns.
“This is a regional issue and for us as Government, we are saddened about this. We need a lasting solution,” he said.
Mr Lusambo said creating a dry port would help address the issue of the harassment of truck drivers as it had been going on for a long time.

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