BUS drivers on the Copperbelt yesterday staged a solidarity march in support of President Edgar Lungu for having listened to their cries on the reversal of the policy on presumptive tax as well as the traffic police fees and fines as enshrined in Statutory Instrument (SI) number 41 of July 2015.
The Bus drivers, who marched together with Transport Minister Kapembwa Simbao from Kitwe Main Bus (KMB) Station to the City Square, said the gesture by President Lungu had given them hope that the country was heading in the right direction of good governance and better management.
In November this year bus drivers parked their vehicles in protest over the issue of presumptive tax, the one-year renewal of the PSV licence which the minister said would now be done after three years.
Top on the agenda during the meeting was the issue of pirate taxi drivers, which the minister said he would discuss with stakeholders such as the police, the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) and others.
In response, the drivers decided to stage a solidarity march in support of President Lungu and his Government for having listened to their concerns.
Speaking for the bus drivers during the solidarity march at City Square, Charles Sichilima said President Lungu had exhibited good leadership and a humanitarian heart for his people.
“This is a solidarity march for President Lungu for having listened to our cries. He has exhibited true patriotism, good leadership and a humanitarian thought for his people for having given us his listening ear so that we are able to walk the talk as a listening Government.
“It is this gesture that has given us hope that we are in the right direction of good governance and better management of issues in the country. It is our sincere hope that this Government bounces back into power next year,” Mr Sichilima said.
He said bus drivers would continue engaging the Government on various issues through the Minister of Transport Simbao.
“As it can be seen from different messages on the banners, it is enough evidence that as transporters we feel cared for because many of our operators who were on the verge of collapse due to the tax burden, have again been given hope of sustenance and continuity in the provision of passenger transport service to the public.
“This has also helped to save over 250,000 jobs on the Copperbelt alone. It will also help to create many more new jobs in this sector by the end of 2016. The transport sector harbours different kinds of people and if all these are not taken care of, the crime rate in Zambia could increase to very high levels,” he said.
Speaking later, Mr Simbao said there was no way President Lungu could pretend or ignore that he did not share the sufferings of the poor people because he understood the sufferings of the people.