Government is set to establish three new ports of entry along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border to facilitate the smooth flow of goods and people between the two countries.
The initiative is part of the border expansion project that seeks to establish three more posts at Katiyo, Burma Valley and Cashel Valley.
The move is expected to decongest the Forbes-Machipanda Border Post, which has been struggling to cope with the increasing number of travellers and cargo that pass through Mutare en-route to other Southern African countries.
Speaking at a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) stakeholders meeting in Mutare on Thursday, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Monica Mutsvangwa said Government was aware of the congestion at Forbes Border Post and needed to deal with it as soon as possible.
“This is an issue I am undertaking to take up with the relevant Government department to ensure that the border extension project that has been on the cards for years is resuscitated. I am aware of the challenges that are faced at the border post, especially to do with congestion and delays in clearance of travellers. Porous Whilst ZIMRA needs to up its game to facilitate trade and travel, we are mindful as Government of the responsibility we have in providing the necessary appropriate and adequate infrastructure at the border post,” she said.
“We need to clear this congestion if we are to be taken seriously on our mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’. I have witnessed trucks waiting to be cleared at Forbes and the queue was going as far as 10km away from Chimoio.
“This is not good. By opening up these border posts we can actually increase the revenue base for Government because we will be clearing more trucks per day than we are currently doing.”
She said Forbes Border Post had become porous in recent years and more ports of entry would encourage businesses to use official channels to bring in their goods which means more stable revenue streams for Government. Minister Mutsvangwa said Manicaland should count itself lucky to be only a few hundred kilometres from the port of Beira.
“With this in mind, I would want to implore ZIMRA to execute their trade facilitation role with due diligence and efficiency, considering that the trade boom in this country hinges on the pace at which goods are cleared at our ports of entry and exit,” she said.
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