By Synd Kalimbuka
Minibus drivers in Zomba on Monday stormed Zomba police station to present their grievances about ill-treatment by Zomba City Council officials.
According to one of the drivers Donnex Pahuwa, council officials collect fees from drivers who drop and pick passengers at undesignated places without issuing receipts alleging that they are pocketing the money.
Pahuwa added that these officials sometimes remove insurance discs on the windscreen the same way as road traffic directorate and traffic police.
He also admitted that drivers operate their businesses outside bus depot saying customers shun to use the depot because of bad smell inside the depot due to lack of hygiene by the council.
“We thought it wise to consult the police on the matter before we start fighting with city council on the matter,” said another driver.
I addition to that, drivers also complained that they are ill-treated by council officials when they fail to comply with this wrong parking issue.
Zomba Police Station Officer Phillip Dinala confirmed to have been approached by the minibus drivers where they presented their concerns.
Upon hearing drivers’ side, Dinala proposed to meet their representatives on Tuesday where city council officials will be engaged to find the lasting solution on the issue.
When contacted, Zomba City Council Spokesperson Mercy Chaluma said Zomba city council is empowered by different Acts road traffic, Local government acts and also by-laws give powers to city council to enforce and control traffic.
On removal of vehicle insurance, Chaluma said it is done to those who resist to cooperate with those that are working.
“The removing of vehicle insurance certificate is only done to those who are not cooperative so that they follow them to comply on the offence,” said Chaluma.
She, however, expressed doubt if city council officials can reach to extent of beating the drivers who don’t comply.
The two parties are expecting to meet today where Zomba police will facilitate the meeting so that this disagreement comes to an end before situation is out of hand.