Dar es Salaam. The saga involving some Tanzanian lorry drivers who found themselves in trouble in Malawi earlier this week took a new turn yesterday when the drivers’ union distanced itself from the matter.
A video clip has been circulating on various social media platforms in which a Tanzanian driver shows tens of lorries that were stranded in the neighbouring country.
However, while the video sought to rally support and public sympathy for the drivers, the Tanzania Drivers Workers’ Union (TADWU) said yesterday that it had warned all drivers about the strike that their Malawi counterparts were to conduct, and advised them against going there before the matter could be settled. “As leaders, we were informed through WhatsApp in advance by our Malawian counterparts that they would stage an industrial action against their government. They told us to tell our members that they should not make trips to Malawi starting September 27 until they get done with their planned strike,” the TADWU’s leader, Mr Schubert Mbakizao, said.
He said the drivers who faced the challenge were those who did not abide by the directive. The chairman for drivers association in Malawi, Major Mkandawire, said yesterday that the strike, which started on September 27, was meant to press their government to work on their demands that pertain to their rights as Malawians. The demands, he said, include that the government should look into ways of pressing their employers to raise their salaries; reducing the amount that they pay for a driver’s licence – which currently stands at 100,000 Malawian Kwacha (about Sh250,000).