Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers are now escorting fuel tankers as the strike by truck drivers that has paralyzed transportation of imports and ex[ports enters the third day.
The truck drivers on Tuesday disagreed with the leadership of Truck Drivers Association who negotiated with the government to have salaries for all cargo truck drivers pegged at an average of K60 000 whilst those of fuel tankers pegged at K140 000.
The truck drivers shouted down their representatives who had gone to meet the government team at Capital Hill, including Transport and Public Works minister Ralph Jooma.
Deputy spokesperson for the drivers’ association Lewis Chokani said the representatives sealed the best deal but understood the sentiments of the other truck drivers who rejected the offer.
Chokani said the new salaries was just a starting point as a task force has been forced and mandated to continue negotiating for better pay.
Most filling stations in the Capital City were running low on fuel and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), the country’s main producer of power, has warned of further load-shedding due to the fuel crisis caused by the truck drivers strike.
Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma told reporters that the minimum wage agreed for truck drivers might change as discussions are ongoing.
“We started talking about this issues last week, It is not only salaries issue that they want addressed,” said Jooma.
He said they have instituted a task force to give answers after two weeks.
Truck Drivers Association of Malawi president Richard Jubeki Phiri said they are not happy with the temporary minimum wage but said the meeting with government has given them a flicker of hope that authorities will push transporters to raise salaries for professional truck drivers to te range of K300 000 and K500 000.
Trucks are a major mpde of transportation of goods in landlocked Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :