Inside Politics

Truckers read malice in killings

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 00:00 |
Trucks lined up to access the Busia One Stop Border Point. The queues can get as long as five to 10 kilometres with drivers waiting up to three days to get cleared. Photo/MUSA RADOLI

Trade among East African countries could suffer after truckers threatened to stop services due to insecurity that is costing the lives of transporters.

Long distance drivers lobbies, the death of drivers plying the Yei-Juba-Nimule highway could lead to a supply crisis in the East Africa Community (EAC) border.

Speaking during a meeting at Mlolongo in Machakos County yesterday, representatives of Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union and South Sudan Freight Forwarders Association and business Community (SSFFA) said insecurity concerns have led to the loss of millions of shilling on delayed deliveries.

Rogue traders

“We are losing millions of shillings as thousands of trucks are stuck at the border points following the cruel murder of our drivers,” ’said Mbugua secretary general of Long Distance Truck Drivers.

The two unions yesterday said that rogue businessmen could be behind the killings to destabilise operations for selfish gains.

Last month, the Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) said two Kenyans and a Ugandan driver who escaped an ambush.

The attackers reportedly tortured the two Kenyans to death while drivers of three other trucks had to flee for their lives but their trucks were vandalised in the attack.

“We fear that propagandists are acting on behalf of people with ill motives and discouraging the drivers to protest and stay put at the border points to create a supply crisis,’’ Mbugua said.

``So far we have reached out to concerned stakeholders in the ministry of transport and trade in South Sudan.

We have received numerous reassurances from the country leadership that they have taken up the matter and are beefing up security,” said Mbugua.

SSFFA chair Emmanuel Kachoul said port authorities should be on high alert on security matters to ensure smooth facilitation on truck drivers from one country to another.

"Those perpetrating the killings are criminals who want to discourage traders from using the Mombasa port which has recently turned to be a port of preference for most Sudanese traders,” said Kachoul.

More on Inside Politics