Transporters want lasting solution to drivers’ torture

Transporters want lasting solution to drivers’ torture

Four transporters’ associations have written the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanding a lasting solution to various forms of assault Malawian truck drivers are enduring when transiting in Mozambique.

The demand by Road Transport Operators Association, Transporters Association of Malawi, 2016 Transporters Association and Fuel Tankers Operators Association follows a recent physical assault of Elaston Ngonyani, 35, at Zobue Border Post by Mozambican police.

Two Mozambican police officers beating Ngonyani

Reads the letter in part: “The incident raises serious human rights concerns as the driver was assaulted before any formal legal process was followed. It is essential to uphold the principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

Ngonyani’s beating by the law enforcement officers, whose video went viral last week, left him with severe wounds and body pains as confirmed by a medical report issued by Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

In their letter dated January 24 2024 and copied to Ministry of Transport and Publics Works, the transporters have requested the ministry to conduct an investigation into the matter and ensure appropriate action is taken against police officers responsible for the mistreatment.

On the day of the incident, Ngonyani, who works for NFI Transport Limited, was driving from South Africa to Malawi with two, Malawian passengers on board but one had overstayed in the Rainbow Nation, according to his passport.

However, the issue was resolved at Beitbridge in South Africa and the passenger responsible managed to have his passport duly stamped at Nyampanda Border Post in Zimbabwe, Kuchamano Border in Mozambique at Zobue.

However, while at Zobue and after already stamping the passport, two police officers started querying the overstay issue although the passenger was already cleared by immigration officials at Beitbridge.

After the assault, the driver was taken to a pharmacy for medication and Zobue Border Post authorities later apologised and offered him K30 000 as compensation for the inconvenience caused.

Meanwhile, Malawi through the consular general office in Tete, Mozambique have already picked up the matter with the Mozambican police.

Malawi Consular General Happy Saka travelled to Zobue last week where he held talks with Mozambican authorities and asked for a comprehensive investigation and report on the incident.

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