Over 60 people who were employed by the Food Reserve Agents (FRA) as maize loaders at Mumbwa maize shed today blocked the Lusaka-Mongu road causing traffic jam as they protested over nonpayment of their two months salaries.
Truck drivers also joined in blocking the road using tires and claiming that they have spent three weeks at the sheds without loading due to the strike by the ‘maize loaders’.
Police quickly moved in to disperse the angry ‘loaders’ whose demonstration lasted for about forty minutes.
A check by ZANIS at the junction found vehicles marooned on either sides of the road.
Some ‘loaders’ talked to said the FRA has not paid them their salaries for November and December.
They have vowed not to return to work until they are paid in full.
And Fanwell Masama, who spoke on behalf of truck drivers, said they have been at the Mumbwa maize shed for 21 days without loading because the ‘loaders’ are on strike.
He said it has become costly for them as their employers give them only K50, 000 per day for their up-keep.
Mr. Masama further announced that the sheds have become a health hazard to them and the surrounding villages as there are no toilets and water to use.
He said drivers have now resorted to draining fuel from their trucks to be able to raise money for their upkeep.
He said this development may lead the drivers to sale some of the maize as they return to Lusaka in order to meet the costs of the drained fuel.
A check at the maize sheds found over 70 trucks marooned, posing a danger to other motorists and pedestrians.