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Chirundu border to open 24hrs

Government is considering turning Chirundu Border Post into a 24-hour port of entry and exit as volumes of traffic surge.

Chirundu Border Post
Chirundu Border Post

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said this last week while officially commissioning 20 houses for Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) staff built for $4 million.

“Chirundu is one of our key links of trade from South Africa to our neighbour, Zambia and other countries in the north through the 24-hour Beitbridge Border Post,” he said.

“We have also seen the volumes of trade through Chirundu increase with increasing feeder traffic from Beira through Forbes. The need to make this border post operate on a 24-hour basis is increasingly becoming imperative in order to facilitate trade, and this will mean even more need of accommodation for staff.

“We will, therefore, continue to support the infrastructure budget to that end.”

Chirundu was the first one-stop border post in Southern Africa, and has hosted a number of countries that have come to benchmark in their development of similar projects. Presently, the border post opens at 6am and closes at 10pm.

Prof Ncube said the housing project goes a long way towards meeting the housing needs of Zimra staff.

He said the development will ensure that Government meets its long-term national and economic objectives through Zimra’s revenue collection and trade facilitation efforts.

“My ministry recognises the importance of Zimra’s contribution in helping support the fulfilment of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and domestic resource mobilisation through the following pillars: improving ease of doing business; restoring fiscal balance; plugging revenue leakage,” said Prof Ncube.

“This will also ensure that we are on course to becoming a prosperous and empowered upper middle income society by 2030.”

Zimra Commissioner-General Faith Mazani said providing decent housing at border posts remains a top priority and will be intensified going forward.

“In Kazungula, construction of four staff houses using a similar design is in progress. In Beitbridge, we have 36 one-bedroomed flats under construction,” she said.

Victoria Falls and Forbes Border posts were earmarked for similar construction work. Admittedly, we have a long way to go in truly recognising and fulfilling the needs of our people but these first few steps are nonetheless important as they demonstrate our commitment to bettering the quality of the lives of our staff as we continue to work towards fulfilling the mandate Government has given us.”

Comm-Gen Mazani implored Zimra employees to remain committed to the task of meeting set targets and facilitating trade, while refraining from corruption, which has tainted the organisation’s image.

As part of its Five-Year Strategic focus, Zimra has identified people, processes, partnerships and projects as key focus areas in fulfilling its mandate.

Zimra’s mandate includes supporting the Government in growing the economy through domestic resource mobilisation. The Herald