Politics

Chipenzi Invites Bus Drivers to Join Black Friday

BusesAlliance for Good Governance (AGG) secretary general Macdonald Chipenzi has welcomed bus drivers who have planned another protest this Friday if they are not happy with the behaviour of the Patriotic Front government to join the Black Friday procession.

Chipenzi said any person aggrieved with the PF administration in terms of bad governance is welcome to join the Black Friday.

He said from the time the Black Friday started, there has been good response from the members of public.

Chipenzi said Black Friday activities will continue in various ways as always by sensitising people on the dangers of the current bad governance in the country.

Many people will this Friday struggle to find buses in the morning as drivers have again decided to down tools as they join the Black Friday protest to ensure that government reverse its decision to remove subsidies on maize and fuel.

The bus drivers hope to use the Black Friday campaign to force government to stop harassing them using the police.

The bus drivers will park their buses in protest over the continued impounding of their buses by the traffic police officers of the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).

One of their major complaints is the invasion of the PF Lusaka province administration in the operation of bus stations where they are demanding KR 500 every Monday from every bus driver.

The PF cadres are now banning any bus driver that is not registered with them from operating in the bus station.

A disgusted driver at Kulima Tower Bus Station said what the PF cadres in Lusaka are doing is contrary to government directive that have promised to remove politics from the management of bus stations and markets.

“Instead of giving us reasons for the money they collect, we are ordered to not operate in stations for as long as we refuse to pay the KR 500 required by the PF Lusaka province secretariat. It is against this background that many drivers decided to go on the street where they are contravening traffic regulations,” he said.

The bus drivers were initially allowed to operate on the streets after they justified their conduct.

However, instead of addressing the initial complaints, the drivers say police have been impounding their busses for contravening and they are made to pay the same amount of KR500 and three months imprisonment.

He notes that it is unfair for the police to collect fines from bus drivers and later send them to prison where they will stay for three months after being fined.

The drivers want the removal of cadres from bus stations and end the unlawful collection of money from them so that they can operate freely. The drivers only want to pay the normal station council levies and not financing the PF provincial secretariat.

“That is why we have decided to join the Black Friday activists because we want to be part to the group fighting the just calls. We will continue to demonstrate until our grievances are addressed by government,” he said.

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