BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
THE Biltrans Transport truck driver Masimba Murombo (48), who disappeared last week en route to Harare from Chirundu, is still missing and police are still investigating the matter.
Following his alleged hijacking, fellow truck drivers have come out guns blazing saying the case exposed the poor working conditions of haulage truck drivers in the country and region.
Murombo, a father of six, went missing last Friday. While his truck was recovered in Chegutu on Saturday and the copper consignment he was transporting was also recovered at a farm in the area, his whereabouts remain a mystery.
Chegutu Criminal Investigations Department is said to be still investigating the case.
According to cross-border drivers, Murombo’s case has exposed poor working conditions for those transporting copper from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to South Africa.
Truck driver Steven Nyamasve blamed Biltrans Transport for neglecting its workers.
‘‘Another truck driver was arrested in DRC and placed in filthy cells for more than a month without getting assistance from his company. He was only saved by some drivers who went on strike against the company called Upman in order to force it to act and save him,’’ the truck driver said.
Benjamin Katemazondo alleged that Biltrans Transport does not pay its drivers well.
“The bosses there must feel the heat of exploitation, underpayment and taking drivers for granted,” he said.
Bertha Mabwe said truck drivers transported millions worth of goods, including copper, and yet they were underpaid.
Another truck driver, Tempy Maromo, said Murombo was not supposed to have travelled alone at night.
Most truck drivers, who spoke to NewsDay, said Murombo was supposed travel in a convoy with other truckers, instead of travelling alone.
The Murombo family spokesperson, Weston Murombo yesterday confirmed that although the truck and copper were recovered, their relative was still missing. ‘‘Our relative is still unaccounted for although police are still investigating the matter,’’ Weston said.
Mashonaland West provincial spokesperson Inspector Margaret Chitove said she was yet to get all the facts on the matter.
Attempts to get a comment from Biltrans Transport were fruitless as their number was not getting through.