OVER 30 fuel tanker trucks which were meant for a PF government ‘youth empowerment scheme’ have been abandoned at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Some government officials and PF leaders spoken to refused to explain the ownership of the truck, insisting that they did not want to be quoted.
Two weeks before the August 12 general elections, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development acting Permanent Secretary Cade Chikobo was in Ndola to inspect several empowerment programmes, including the said trucks.
Some sources who sought anonymity told News Diggers that PF had planned to monopolise the fuel sector had they won the 2021 elections.
“They wanted to start supplying oil under the guise of youth empowerment. Had they won, that’s what was going to happen but now that there’s a change of government, everyone is scampering and no one wants to claim ownership of those trucks so we just have to wait and see what happens,” the source said.
According to some workers stationed at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium spearheading the Empowerment programmes, the trucks are not on any records.
“What I know is that these tanker trucks are not part of the Empowerment programmes. So in our records, we don’t have such tanker trucks as part of Empowerment. So for that, I can’t speak, we are also just watching these tanker trucks and we don’t know where they belong or whether they are for who,” said the workers.
And a PF official, who also sought anonymity, distanced the former ruling party from the tankers, saying they were meant for a government headed empowerment programme.
“The Empowerment was for the youths. As a party, we have no role to play in this. It was a government program meant for the youths,” said the PF official.
Both former youth and sports minister Emmanuel Mulenga and Chikobo were unavailable for comment as their phones went unanswered.
The National Union of Transport and Allied workers (NUTAW) said Indeni, TAZAMA and other energy companies could have closed by September had the Patriotic Front won the general elections.
NUTAW president Kinsley Kachenjela said the PF had run down the companies because of lack of seriousness.
NUTAW represents workers at Indeni Petroleum Refinery company Limited, TAZAMA and Energy Companies.
Kachenjela said he was delighted to note that the UPND administration had come with a transformational agenda for the Zambian economy.
Kachenjela said he was hopeful that the pronouncements in the UPND manifesto on energy reforms would save Indeni, Tazama and Ndola Energy companies from the knee-jerk Jerabo policies of the PF government which almost destroyed the strategic sector for national development.
“NUTAW would like to urge the UPND government to implement wholesome economic reforms which will save jobs, critical skills and infrastructure at Indeni, Tazama and Ndola Energy companies. NUTAW would not want UPND to fall in the same trap of Jerabo politics that was founded by the PF government which killed strategic industries through unbridled corruption in the procurement of finished products thereby creating employment for foreign interests,” said Kachenjela.