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Truck drivers go on strike following heavy bribes on regional routs

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By Jean Pierre Ndikumana

Bujumbura- Approximately fifty truck drivers making the regional transport of goods between Burundi and other countries of the East African Community have stopped work since Monday 18 April. They indicate that traffic police in the routs are forcing them to pay bribes to pass the road blocks.

These truck drivers are gathered at the bus station in protest against what they call the police abuses and lax service of Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR). No truck is entered or left the station on the morning of Monday.

These “abuses” would be much more experienced on the border posts at Kayanza, Bujumbura. “They start to ransom us just outside the city (Bujumbura). We stopped several times and they started to ask us for money, “said a Tanzanian driver who requested anonymity.

Require that such harassment ceases and that the services of OBR accelerate the formalities. While these procedures take only a few days as in Rwanda, these drivers say they must wait several days in Burundi, which the inflicting heavy losses.

The regional truck drivers told Great Lakes Voice that, they expected an official of the Embassy of Tanzania in Burundi to express their concerns. An official at the Embassy of Tanzania said that his mission is in negotiations because the majority of Tanzanian nationals have been taught to be polite and “the problem will be catered for.”

The appeal was launched and the ministers in charge of the affairs of the East African Community and those of Finance. Truck-drivers ask that these authorities come together to settle this issue.

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