COVID-19: Truck drivers pocket huge on highways

By Kay Kaseke

From the declaration of lockdown period to extension annunciations, the truck drivers have had brighter moments in their area of work. As national operations are put on constant hold, omnibus operators included, commuters has fallen prey to a new inter-city transport system.

Charging exorbitant fares on a wider margin, is now a game of the day. Cognoscente of consequences likely to arise in the middle of the way, truck drivers demands at least US 20. 00 dollars from desperate passengers in a do or die scenario.

The green notes are enough to evade arrest from law enforcers who are also unable to resist bribery tendencies.

This has been happening on Bulawayo/Harare route since intensification of the lockdown period. Hiking a longnose truck is likely to risk spreading of COVID-19 pandemic.

Spotlight Online News Africa observed that passengers will be seated behind driver’s front city. One truck was fully packed with passengers squashing one another squarted on a mattress covered with tattered rags.

All that which Ministry of Health heralded on radios and newspapers on COVID-19 precautions had been defeated. Social distancing failed to materialize and breathing problems shown possibilities for COVID-19 transmission.

The violations have far reaching effects as it defeats sole purposes.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said it was criminal for truckers to ferry passengers in violation of lockdown rules and officer collaborating in such criminal acts would be investigated and dealt with.

“It is an offence for truck drivers to ferry passengers, especially during this Covid-19 era,” he said.

“We will investigate such cases and any officers caught up in such illicit deals will be dealt with in terms of the law.”

Truck drivers said they are in the business as the number of trips they make have since reduced since the advent of the lockdown and they get paid per trip.

They complained that shop owners had increased basic goods prices hence when an opportunity to make extra cash presented itself they gladly took it.

To date Zimbabwe has recorded 34 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4 deaths and 5 recoveries.

Tendai Guvamombe