HomeNewsTongaat to weed out errant sugar transporters

Tongaat to weed out errant sugar transporters

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BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA

SUGAR producer Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe has introduced tight transport tender processes in a bid to rein in errant sugar transporters.

This comes at a time when local transporters, who have been providing haulage services for the company, are set to renew their five-year contracts next month.

Transporters are now obliged to have goods-in-transit insurance cover, a valid vehicle licence and certificate of fitness as well as proof of physical existence of trucks registered in the name of the company.

Vehicle tracking was also made a mandatory requirement for transporters.

This was after one of the trucks was involved in a pile-up accident in Zambia in August last year after it was contracted by Tongaat Hulett.

The truck was also said to be unroadworthy and operating without a certificate of fitness.

While Zambian police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo said the owner of the truck could not be determined, it was later found out that it belonged to Ephias Munodawafa, who is Chief Murinye of Masvingo.

Chief Murinye is the director of Zikrag Investments and E&J Munodawafa (Pvt) Limited, which specialises in haulage trucks that are currently contracted by Tongaat Hulett to ferry its sugar.

It is alleged that after offloading sugar in Victoria Falls, the driver proceeded to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on personal business.

But on his way back, the truck got involved in a pile-up accident with three other trucks on August 16, 2020 along the Chirundu-Kafue Road at Kapiringozi Hills.

One of the trucks, a Volvo truck registration number ACQ 2702, was being driven by another Zimbabwean, Prince James, of Clear Choice Logistics, and had broken down.

The third was another Zimbabwean male identified as Danmore Magoshe, of Strauss Logistics, driving a FAW truck registration number AEU 6414 and believed to have been carrying jet one fuel.

It was also revealed that the trucks were corruptly issued with loading instructions by Tongaat employees without following due process.

Chief Murinye yesterday confirmed that the truck belonged to him.

He denied bribing sugar companies to get the transport contracts, saying that the gifts that he gave them were Christmas presents.

“It’s nothing new that we have donated to Zimbabwe Sugar Sales employees and other structures. It’s not a secret. At times, we buy them food, just like most companies do,” he said. “There’s nothing to bribe for because we already have a transport contract. We usually give them Christmas presents. This time, we gave them the presents early because in December, we usually have other serious financial commitments.”

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