ZAMBIAN truck drivers crossing using the Pedicle road in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being overcharged, a situation which may force Zambia to reciprocate, says Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Miles Sampa.
He said in an interview it had come to his ministry’s attention that the neighbouring country was charging Zambian truck drivers about US$300 upon entering Congo DRC which he described as unfair.
Mr Sampa said Zambian drivers were only supposed to pay about US$50, the same amount Congo DRC truck drivers were being charged when entering Zambia.
He revealed that the matter was under investigation and that his ministry had engaged the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Ministry of Works and Supply to help with investigations.
“We are investigating the unfair trade where truckers are forced to pay about US$300 upon entering Congo DR and yet for us, we only charge trucks coming from there US$50 in Zambia,” Mr Sampa said.
He said that kind of behaviour was preventing fair cross-border trade and that the Ministry of Trade would do everything possible to ensure that Zambian truck drivers were safeguarded.
Mr Sampa said his ministry would not allow anyone to disadvantage the Zambian truck drivers during the cross border trade.
“We want to harmonize so that our truckers are not disadvantaged and these are some of the cross-border problems that are disadvantaging Zambia and we shall ensure as a ministry that Zambian traders are not disadvantaged in any way when they enter other countries”.
“And where other countries are not reciprocating, where they are not playing the same game we are all playing, we will have no choice but to reciprocate with the same unfair gesture,” he said.