Fuel truck owners strike to protest 6pm-6am curfew

By Regina Manyara

Truck owners involved in ferrying fuel to petrol stations have gone on strike in protest of the night curfew on fuel tankers.

The countrywide strike that started Monday is likely to cripple transport if not resolved.

The distributors argue that the slow processing of documents at oil depots has made it impossible for them to adhere to the 6pm to 6am curfew leading to alleged police harassment and businesses losses.

In 2009, the country witnessed a disaster where 100 people lost their lives and about 200 others sustained injuries while scooping petrol from a fuel tanker that had been involved in an accident at Sachang’wan.

Last month, at least 40 people were killed in a horrific multi-car road accident when a truck spiraled out of control and slammed into oncoming traffic, before bursting into flames.

This saw the government move to ensure that the curfew on the transport of petroleum products 6pm and 6am effected from January 2014 is fully implemented.

Among those affected by the curfew are truck owners involved in ferrying fuel to petrol stations.

The transporters claim the slow paperwork process at the depots that makes it impossible for the drivers to keep time paving the way for alleged harassment by police as well as incurring additional costs.

They have vowed to ensure fuel stations run dry if the 6pm and 6am curfew is not lifted.