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Malaba truck drivers call off strike

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd October 2008 03:00 AM

A TWO-DAY strike by long distance truck drivers at Malaba on the Uganda-Kenya border has been called off.

A TWO-DAY strike by long distance truck drivers at Malaba on the Uganda-Kenya border has been called off.

By Samuel Balagadde
and Musa Balikowa

A TWO-DAY strike by long distance truck drivers at Malaba on the Uganda-Kenya border has been called off.

This followed a meeting between the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the Kenyan government transport ministry officials and the drivers’ representaives on Tuesday.

The strike which started on Monday, was in protest of the poor conditions at Malaba customs parking yard, extortion and harrassment. It was called off after URA promised to solve the drivers grievances by next month.

The strike had paralysed business at the border post on Monday with cargo in transit to Uganda and other parts of the Great Lakes region stuck on the Kenyan side of the border.

The drivers said the Malaba customs parking yard was damaging their trucks, resulting into delays in delivery of cargo as well as damages, especially perishable goods.

The drivers were also protesting harassment by URA security guards, who they accuse of rudeness and extortion of unwarranted sums of money in form of fines and exorbitant parking charges.

They wanted URA to stop fining those who do not park in the gazetted yard and remove the surcharges on trucks that delay at the yard. The majority of the drivers last week deserted the yard and park their trucks along the road.

James Tumwesigye who represented URA at the meeting apologised for the inconveniences the drivers had gone through.

He said the tax body would work on the parking yard by November, and ensure the yard stays in good and hygienic working environment.

James Njoroge, represented Kenya’s transport ministry while Hussein Babu and Yusuf Abdalah represented the drivers.

The drivers had threatened to go on strike five months ago, but the Inspector General of Police, Maj. General Kale Kayihura met them and promised that the yard would be improved. But, nothing hadbeen done yet.

Malaba truck drivers call off strike

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