Saturday, September 26, 2009

Transporters urge govt to work on Serenje-Mpika road

Transporters urge govt to work on Serenje-Mpika road
Written by Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday, September 26, 2009 6:02:19 PM

LONG distance transporters have appealed to the government to quickly rehabilitate the dilapidated stretch between Serenje and Mpika because it has become a security hazard.

In a walk-in interview on Friday, Agri-Fuel drivers Mark Kalusha and Yohan Soyala complained that because of the bad state of the Serenje-Mpika road bandits had taken advantage of the slow pace at which they drive their truck and they were now waylaying them and stealing the goods they were transporting especially cement and sugar.

"We transport cement and sugar from Lusaka to Mpulungu but we now have a serious problem because of the 'ditches' between Serenje and Mpika. We move slowly and thieves ambush us and they offload from our trucks. Unfortunately you can't stop the truck and challenge the thieves because they move in groups of 30 plus," Kalusha said.

"We are, therefore, appealing to the government to urgently repair that stretch of the road. The government should speed up the patching or mending of that stretch. It has become a security hazard."

And Soyala said whenever drivers are robbed in this manner, they are charged by their employers.

"So we will appreciate if the government can repair that road," said Soyala.

Last week Road Development Agency (RDA) public relations manager Loyce Saili said her agency had requested for K7 billion from the Ministry of Finance through the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) to mend road between Serenje and Mpika.

However, Saili said a full-scale rehabilitation of the stretch would cost about over K100 billion.

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