Ugandan truck drivers want KPC to work through curfew
Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi
More than 200 truck drivers from Uganda have expressed their frustrations over the slow pace of loading products for export at the Kenya Pipeline Company Eldoret depot.
The drivers, who have been queuing for the past two weeks, complained they were incurring high costs of upkeep and other necessities due to congestion at the only public managed depot.
Led by their chairman Abdul Aziz, the drivers asked the Kenya government to also allow KPC to be included in the list of essential service providers in the wake of the curfew aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19.
Addressing the media at the depot yesterday, Aziz said the move would address the problem of congestion that is being witnessed at the depot daily as KPC staff would be able to load fuel for local consumption and export during day and night shifts.
He urged the government to exempt KPC from the 7pm to 5am curfew to save them from more suffering, adding that some of them have spent two weeks waiting to load.
“We are facing loading challenges and congestion at the Kenya Pipeline Company’s Eldoret depot as the KPC staff are giving local fuel truck drivers first priority,” said Aziz, added that they have now been forced to sleep in the trucks to avoid the wrath of police officers enforcing the dusk-to-dawn curfew after exhausting all the money they had for bookings in guest houses and food.
“Some of our colleagues have been on the queue for a period of between two to three weeks but they are yet to be served. We are being told that the only fuel products remaining are for local consumption and we should wait,” said Aziz.
Another truck driver, Soki Saad said the outbreak of coronavirus has worsened the situation for them as they have been forced to be indoors before 7pm to avoid being arrested for flouting the government guidelines.
When reached for comment outgoing Eldoret depot manager Anthony Sang said he was not in a position to comment on the matter.