MPAKA:Eswatini Railway has been accused of hiring elderly train drivers who are causing accidents.
This come after the railway company suspended experienced Swazi train drivers for demanding a safe working environment, the company allegedly replaced them with elderly train drivers .
Basil Tfwala,the Spokesperson of the Eswatini Railway Workers Union (ERWU) revealed to this Swaziland News that a 63 year old Joseph Dzimati crashed a train on Thursday at around 3 pm at Golela.
He said the driver was above the retirement age and was not fit for working because of a number of factors such as forgetfulness, vision loss and drowsiness
“This was to be avoided if the workers were granted their rights and given priority as workers than sidelining them when they demand their workers rights", he said.
A source close to the matter revealed that the train drivers were currently booked at Siteki hotel and most of them were above 50 years adding that Joseph Dzimati was one of them.
“He is not competent at all,also with no existing employment contract with the employer. They were hired illegally in order to deny us our rights as workers now they have paid triple the price.All we wanted was Long Stamps(documents that enable drivers to safely cross to SA)and our safety being prioritized", said the source.
When reached for comments,Sive Manana, the eSwatini Railway Spokesperson confirmed the accident adding that they were
still investigating it's cause.
“It takes us more than 2 weeks to know the cause of the problem.The incident however has nothing to do with the issues of long Stamps and who was driving the train. Accidents happen to everyone despite citizenship",said the Eswatini Railway Spokesperson.
Train crashed at Mpaka