YOU have failed us, Bus and Taxi Drivers Association of Zambia general secretary Daniel Kampilimba has told transport and communications permanent secretary Misheck Lungu.
And Lungu refused to start a meeting to discuss SI 79 on minibuses having seatbelts after Kampilimba and his secretary Joseph Chileshe introduced themselves as disappointed and frustrated people.
This was at an SI 79 consultative meeting in Ndola yesterday.
According to Kampilimba, government had continued to allow pirated taxis to continue operating.
During introductions, Chileshe said he was a disappointed and frustrated person despite attending the meeting while Kampilimba said the ministry and the Road Traffic and Safety Agency had not done what transporters wanted.
But when Lungu was called upon to address the meeting, he demanded that the two withdraw their statements before he could address the meeting.
However, Chileshe and Kampilimba remained adamant and refused to withdraw.
“The reason is simple. We are disappointed and frustrated in this nation. Pirating has killed the industry. Lots of meetings have been called upon. How do we become happy when we are killed? I’m still disappointed and frustrated,” Chileshe maintained.
And Kampilimba said: “Our business has suffered and we are frustrated. If you meet with drivers, this is the general concern. For as long as the ministry, RTSA don’t act on what we want, I won’t withdraw. You have failed us and this can’t continue. We have had a number of meetings talking about the same issues.”
Lungu then decided to proceed to address a “meeting of disappointed and frustrated people”.
“I see I’m attending a meeting of frustrated people. I will address you and work with a team of frustrated people. It is important that the Copperbelt has a large number of operators; that is the northern region. That is why I have come here to find solutions,” Lungu said.
“Every time the ministry calls for meetings, let us come and resolve. The government of President Edgar Lungu is not a confrontational government, and us his tools and makers will not be confrontational. If we stand and point fingers, we will not achieve anything.”
He said he was equally concerned with the rate of pirating.
“I’m equally concerned that a bus driver is frustrated with piraters. We want to put in regulations that will capture everyone