United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean trucks importer, Dyson Dzapasi, is lobbying for the formation of the Africa Trucks Importers Association in a move aimed at giving importers a voice and shared value creation on issues affecting overseas trucker.
The trucking sector is critical to regional trade.
Mr Dzapasi, the managing director of UK-based truck importing company, Carsden Group, has made a passionate appeal “to our conscience for an urgent call to action” for the formation of the association.
Speaking to Herald Business from his base in the UK, Dzapasi said African truckers are struggling with a number of issues.
“The major issue that has befallen us is the poor and lax security of African trucks and cargo at Walvis Bay port in Namibia as evidenced by the uncanny yet rampant incidence of thefts and vandalism that has bled us heavily as we are burdened by huge losses due to unbudgeted costs incurred in repairs.
“Imagine when one imports a truck from overseas to Zimbabwe, one has to endure an arduous yet well-intended 2 000km journey to the port of Walvis Bay and arrive there to the upsetting sight: lights are damaged, mirrors are stolen, or even worse the dashboard has been ripped off,” he said.
“Nothing is being done about this outright malady of maladies. Where is our love, ubuntu or botho as Africans? It is time that African ports take collective responsibility for cargo vandalised on their ports. Also Shipping Lines must take full responsibility when thefts and vandalism occur in transit.”
Dzapasi said after its formation, the Africa Trucks Importers Association must also act as a voice for a united body, which is not just in unison “but shared value creation and values as one people, one Africa, where members express themselves freely perceptively and responsibly and contribute towards the smooth running and operations of this lucrative and strategic truck imports supply and value chain by engaging with respective governments, port authorities, shipping liners and customs clearing agencies”.
“In this deadly Covid-19 pandemic, it is sad to note that truck importers have no voice or protection. We were never consulted and it is a very tough moment. What pains us is vandalism and thefts are done to trucks when they are on African soil. This is really bad for business and we want to add our voice and make sure all stakeholders participate in the smooth importation of trucks into Africa with no hiccups.”
Dzapasi added that Namibia’s port of Walvis Bay has become a haven of thieves and an insecure place for truck imports.
“It is high time we confront the port authorities, the Government and shipping liners and agencies to come up with a solution. This is really disheartening and not the Africa we all want to see let alone belong to and are proud of. Let us all strive and continue to push for better and a corrupt free life as one Africa and one community of plenty communities.”