Barricading of Kasumbalesa timely
Published On March 6, 2016 » 1707 Views» By Bennet Simbeye » Opinion
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THE decision by Government to secure Kasumbalesa Border Post line with a barricade is a timely and welcome development.
Doing this will go a long way in reducing smuggling, which has robbed the country of the much-needed tax.
Securing this border is long overdue because the level of smuggling at this facility and surrounding areas has been so rife that, if all goods went through the border formalities, the country would earn a lot of revenue.
It is good that Government has realised that it is losing revenue through this porous border post and has decided to act.
This boundary is one of the busiest facilities, because it is an outlet to East and Central Africa and one can imagine the traffic and the amount of revenue the State has been losing for some time now.
It is gratifying to note that the barricade will stretch from Chililabombwe to Solwezi and we hope this will help end the smuggling that has characterised this leaky border.
This programme must be implemented quickly, especially that businessmen and women have continued to use this route to smuggle Zambia’s prized mealie-meal, thereby creating artificial demand and also emptying the Food Reserve Agency stocks.
With the rainfall pattern not being too friendly, it would be important to ensure that the smuggling of maize and mealie-meal comes to an end at this border, but those wishing to sell the product in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), use the right channels so that Zambia benefits from the money they will cough out.
Security comes into question also as people willingly enter and leave Zambia without going through immigration points, thereby putting the country’s safety at risk.
Many a time, stories have been told of how people’s vehicles have been stolen and found in the DRC and one wonders how stolen goods can still find their way past the border.
It will also be prudent that the number of officers is increased to meet the day-to-day challenges that will come with manning the border post so that in future the facility can operate 24 hours in a bid to smoothen operations.
Erecting a barricade alone would not solve the problem as there will be need for officers to be checking this barrier and ensure that smugglers do not temper with the facility.
The type and height of this barrier will be crucial in ensuring this vice ends at the troublesome border because setting up a wall which people can still go over will not save any purpose.
Government should ensure that the barricade to be erected will be a lasting structure that will stand the test of time so that smuggling equally becomes a talk of the past.
Our plea, therefore, to the Government is to ensure that this project is implemented in the shortest possible time so that the country can realise the much-needed revenue.
As we wait for the project to start, it will be prudent for the Government to deploy officers along the border to help reduce this vice, at least for now.

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