Zimbabwe could block Botswana, Zambia from constructing bridge

ZIMBABWE could block neighbouring Botswana and Zambia from constructing a bridge on the Zambezi River linking the two countries amid fears the nation stood to lose out on much-needed revenue as commercial traffic would by-pass the country.

By NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

It is feared that once complete, traffic would by-pass the Beitbridge Border Post, resulting in Zimbabwe losing revenue it currently generates from tollgates and at the border post.

Botswana and Zambia were reportedly building a new link called Kasane Bridge.

The matter is said to have roped in President Robert Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart Michael Sata.

On Wednesday, Chikomba Central MP Felix Tapiwa Mhona (Zanu PF) raised the issue in Parliament demanding Transport minister Obert Mpofu to explain government’s position over the matter.

“There is a bridge that is being constructed between Botswana and Zambia known as Kasane Bridge. What is the government policy in place so as to counter this conspiracy whereby you are going to see traffic by-passing our Beitbridge, which is the gateway to southern Africa, consequently impacting negatively on our revenue?” Mhona asked.

In response, Mpofu said: “The question that was raised by the Honourable Member is very important and those that have been in Cabinet across the floor know the position of government regarding that bridge that Botswana and Zambia intend to construct.

“So, the position of government is that there is no direct border between Botswana and Zambia. If a bridge has to be constructed in that area, it will have to go through Zimbabwe, hence the stalemate. I have engaged my colleague in Zambia and this engagement has also been escalated to the principals of the two countries, and the matter is at that level. Our understanding is supported by the United Nations on boundaries; that there is no boundary between Botswana and Zambia. If they want to build a bridge on that piece of land, Zimbabwe has to be involved.”

He said Zimbabwe felt there was no need for a bridge just a few kilometres from the Victoria Falls Bridge and the intention was to avoid Zimbabwe to the north.

“But, I do not think that is still the feeling now since there has been some changes in the region,” Mpofu said.

In 2012, Zambia and Botswana invited bids for the construction of the bridge and the project was said to be financed partly through an $80 million loan secured from the African Development Bank.


The Botswana government was to meet part of the costs while the Japan International Co-operation Agency was expected to come on board.

According to the project, the bridge is expected to enhance transportation of goods along the regional North-South Corridor that links the two mineral-rich countries, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the port of Durban in South Africa.

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71 Comments

  1. If Botswana and Zambia want to develop so be it! We are so jealous about people doing better than us. Viva Batswana and Nyanjaz, Chewas to the North

    1. If there was an alternative of bypassing Zim’s roadblock infested roads, I would take it without hesitation. Botswana and Zambia have a right to do what is right for their economies and Mugabe should take the blame for not moving with the times like other countries. Zimbabwe used to be a destination of choice but we are now a poverty stricken laughing stock of SADC.

      1. These to countries do not have any right over Zimbabwe that’s why Zimbabwe has the power to stop the construction. If they are to bypass Zimbabwe then they should engage our government and reach some understanding

    2. Let them do it cz its their money n their land. must the zimbos be worried about that? Lets see if we do hve the powers to block them then

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    6. Bravo Kilo well said always the rotten apple wanting to spoil the whole bunch!

  2. pliz widen the beitbridge-chirundu especialy hre-beit is now a menace, they (bots & zam are dodging this manace. Pliz widden and dualise later. We are lossing much more that due to snail pace reaction. We badly need developmnt eg platinum plant here in zim rather taking ore to SA fo processing. Widden beit/hre while tollgate are still payn. Ipai vane mari vavake road BOT (built oparate transfer.
    Matirasisa varume. Do things swiftly.

    1. Its too late to do that my friend, it’s a hand to mouth situation right now and Zimbabwe can’t afford such a costly project.

  3. Zim should let the bridge be built and just get a commission from it. That would reduce the traffic congestion at beit bridge and lessen the damage to our already bad roads. Transit traffic doesn’t add much value to Zim coz they don’t even pay tollgate taxes!

    1. Good outside divergent thinking

    2. Good thinking Eddo! Unfortunately you wouldn’t be welcome in the present government where thinking for your self is considered dangerous or subversive!

    3. Eddo unorwara chete, those guys pay a lot of money in the form of tolls fees on entering the country they also pay road access fees. This bridge is a big blow to the second busiest border post in the world. Good for the Zambians.

  4. @James Zimbabe stands to lose as those transtit trucks pay almost $100 coupons to Zinara through VID and the $10 clearance fee paid for each entry, not forgetting Carbon tax and insurance which is paid directly to Zimra. Maybe reducing charges will help coz coz once the bridge is complete Zimbabwe will be doomed

    1. Samson Mudapakati

      But remember, that’s the money being looted day-in, day-out. So better vaende via Botswana towona kuti vanozoba chii

      1. Adjustment Bureau

        U very silly, ziya zvekuda pakati. Saka iwe unosarudza kurara nenzara nekuti mumba mune makonzo? The reason why this country has been thriving under sanctions has been because of such funds. Iwewe dai ukanamirira paBridge rako iroro neQuick Drying Cement because haufunge. We are trying to come up with a viable solution here and there u are, busy distracting progress.

        1. @Adjustment
          Which country thrived under sanctions?? Countries like Cuba and Korea are said to be thriving or have thrived under sanctions. We had virtually nothing in the shops in 2008 and you are saying we thrived? We have over 70% unemployment and you say we are thriving?? Just because you are not dead doesnt necessarily mean that you are living.

          1. There is hunger in North Korea, don’t confuse it with South Korea.

          2. Cuba and North Korea have not thrived but as you say Zimbabwe hasn’t either.

            So much potential so little results.

  5. Zimbabwe should just make itself more efficient in every respect. Reduce waiting times at border posts. Reduce corruption. Reduce number of Ministries and provinces and curtail bureaucratic bungling. Put development and bread-and-butter issues ahead of bankrupt political ideologies and naked hero-worshipping of personality cult figures. Economies cannot be grown, developed and sustained on slogans, handclaps and ululations. We need more serious political programmes in here, nation centred, not individual leader or party centred.

  6. Sanctions from everywhere even from our own brothers tati tadii. Zimbabwe haishandiki nayo too many roadblocks which serves nothing other than generating money for Mpofu and team. In some countries you get a roadblock after many kms of travel yet in Zimbabwe for every 10kms there is a roadblock in the same highway without a feeder road then you wonder which other vehicles do they want to search. Unless we change the way we do our things even our neighbours will continue to shun us.

    1. Samson Mudapakati

      Ndawirirana newe Exiled. Too many roadblocks and no development of infrastructure. Tichasara tavekuishandisa tega shuwa

  7. There is no direct boundary between zambia and botswana, thats according to UN, so whatever these two countries wanna build on that piece of land zimbabwe must be included,

    1. Zimbabwe blocked the building of this bridge in the mid 2000s claiming it was going to ‘touch’ on Zimbabwe territory. After this Botswana and Zambia entered into negotiation with Namibia which allowed the two countries to build the bridge over part of Namibia’s Caprivi strip. A new design of the bridge was then carried out by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. This bridge is going ahead. July 2014 they will start the construction. Please learn to mind your own business. Whether Beitbridge is used or not will depend on what services Zimbabwe offers. Botswana and Zambia are not going to stand still just for the convenience of Zimbabwe.

      1. Excellent comment.

  8. @ Mahamba. Mari dzaurikutaura idzo dziri kupinda here ku treasury? Then why are the people in all public sectors crying? There is nothing that you can do to stop the construction of that bridge; mark my words. Why should they wait for disorganised Zimbabwean masses? Let them go on and build the linking routes and very soon it will be completed. Tinongozvinetsa nekutonongora zvinoita vamwe vanhu kusimudzira upenyu hwavo tisingazvitarisi patinosaririra. Let’s also build a bridge between us and Namibia; and that will be a sweet revenge. There is a border scenario similar to that which you want to raise noise for. Iro ndiro bridge rave utovakwa and forget about your noise. The US has got a military base in Botswana waiting to deal with such mischief.

    1. But we do not have the money to build bridges Sugar. We are too broke remember.

  9. Naiyewo MP anatwowo anobvunza Minister Dumbuguru..chii chacho Bots & Zambia vakatononoka kuzviita. How can a government stand by and watch while people wait for hours for a TRP at the border. I waited for 45minutes for TRP while there were only 5 people in front of me. Being a country led by a 90year old everything moves in a slow pace and decisions takes decades to be implimented pakaita mari dzobiwa fattening their pockets Zimbabwe, nyika yawora maShona akatarisa..achingosekerera.

  10. They can exclude Zim and include Namibia

  11. it too much costly to transit zimbabwe. the too gates are too much ,they are expensive and the roads are in bad shape.it high time time the reduce their strict laws,and know that the world can do without us.not going to meeting we desperately need because of stupid reasons,human rights abuses, and the least is endless.the government has to wake up and smell the coffee.we have stood stlll whilre the rest of the world moved on, and this one of those examples of the world moving on,poor zimbabwe we have left a 90 year old man ruin the lives of both the young and old.
    regayi vavake

  12. This is simply a result of the inefficiency the Zim road network has become. Our neighbors are serious and truthful to the future than us and simply calling a spade a spade here. Our roads are now very narrow and rugged, the boarders are congested and full of corrupt officials, policemen are milling the roads demanding bribes, honestly a serious minded business person would like to avoid such.

  13. cash_talk_rastafari

    vana obert mfopu mbavha idzo votanga kuchema chema because once zambia and botswana build the bridge, the looting stops. Imbwa dzevanhu

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  15. This is at the instigation of little Botswana. Because of Khama’s hatred of Mugabe, he always wants to rub Zimbabwe the wrong way. That area is a quadripoint, where four countries, Zim, Nam, Zam & Bot meet. Any party that wants to do things unilatery in that area is risking a war. A war, I mean it.

    1. Enda unomama Iwe.

    2. As far as I can see on Google Maps, Bots does have a direct link to Zambia.

      https://www.google.com/maps/@-17.7914952,25.2624862,16z

  16. Let Bots and Zambia do whats good for them and Zim do whats bad for herself……Yah , Zanu PF has self destructed this country and woda kuti vamwe vafewo ngekuti zimbo haichashandi. Robert refused to go to Brussels vamwe vakaenda including Khama and king cobra. Iko kadhara kenyu kechindosurira nyika.. nxaaaaaa

  17. @james. which country u ever go with toll gates at less than $5. for ur own infor drc is charging $150/140km iwe wochema $5 chaiyo pasame distance. fambaiwo dzimwe nyika muchazoona kt kwenyu kuri nani. uri dofo.

    1. Dzimwe nyika dzine currency yadzo shasha. $5 igold kuzim

  18. This is the best for their business , It will be fast cheap and reliable. There are lots of setbacks through Zimbabwe rout , abnormal duty charges, poor old tiny dangerous roads, long border post queues. If Zimbabwe needs business let’s it meet the standards of the region not only wailing along. Some mean business yet you mean unyielding polices. SADC is in a process to subtract itself from a poor Zimbabwe . Oh my our leaders must open their mind not corruption buckets.

  19. ma zimbo too much taxes so bots n zambia thy r protecting their companies aganst thievs n i don c any problem if thy r buildng their link btwn thm makurwadziwa ka kuzoti road dzenyu dzakazara ma pothole nemaparisa kuvhaira kuchapera

  20. Having had a critical analysis of the relevant map, it is still possible to construct a bridge linking Botswana and Zambia via a small stretch of Namibia. Saka nyika yokudhiza iNamibia kuti ive hot-headed! Zvenyu zvekuthreatener war hazvishande. It only breeds intransigence. Ethiopia is building a dam across the blue Nile though Egypt threatened to go to war. You can still solve your problems through diplomatic channels!

  21. Having had a critical analysis of the relevant map, it is still possible to construct a bridge linking Botswana and Zambia via a small stretch of Namibia. Saka nyika yokudhiza iNamibia kuti ive hot-headed! Zvenyu zvekuthreatener war hazvishande. It only breeds intransigence. Ethiopia is building a dam across the blue Nile though Egypt threatened to go to war. You can still solve your problems through diplomatic channels! Should the world including our neighbours treat us like lepers? Its a time for introspection!

  22. @muzambian nonsense manhi kuvahira kweyi u zeds are the ones who’ve always felt inferior to zimbos and thats justified coz u are!!!! No bridge will be constructed muchatodzidza kuavoider mapotholes iyayo kana marwadziwa ifai.

  23. we dont need that bridge full stop

    1. You do not. They do

  24. A quadripoint exist in
    Africa,where the borders of
    Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and
    Zimbabwe come together at the
    confluence of the Cuando (also
    called Chobe) and Zambezi
    rivers.There have been a few
    international incidents revolving
    round this particular quadripoint,
    or near- quadripoint. In 1970,
    South Africa (which at the time
    occupied Namibia) informed
    Botswana that there was no
    common border between
    Botswana and Zambia, claiming
    that a quadripoint existed. As a
    result, South Africa claimed, the
    Kazungula Ferry, which links
    Botswana and Zambia at the
    quadripoint, was illegal. Botswana
    firmly rejected both claims. There
    was actually a confrontation and
    shots were fired at the ferry,some
    years later, the Rhodesian Army
    attacked and sank the ferry,
    maintaining that it was serving
    military purposes. Ian Brownlie,
    who studied the case, wrote in
    1979 that the possibility of a
    quadripoint could not be
    definitively ruled out.The move by
    zimbabwe is accurately deplomatic enough and in
    agreement with the history of our
    boaders..some of you truely need to do your history before you post your irrational and treasonous comments against your country,the matter is not about zimra,zanu,mdc or whatever axis you are affiated to but its about respect of territorial integrity and and international boaders(part of the UN charter).to inform you better that quadriapoint is like a landmine,if you step on it will explode!!

    1. Zim is full of yep yep .Now as we speak Botswana is tapping methane from the Lupane / Hwange area under ground while our leaders are busy having birthdays and endeless weddings trips and rallies.

      Zim is in for a shock.

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  26. I just came here to agree with Fish, hebis making sense and has all the facts to backup wat he is sayn. just because Zim is not doing well economically it doesn’t mean we will allow any self proclaimed rich country like zambia and botswana stepnon our tails like that. be warned a hungry lion is more deadle than a spoiled one

  27. I just came here to agree with Fish, he is making sense and has all the facts to backup wat he is sayn. just because Zim is not doing well economically it doesn’t mean we will allow any self proclaimed rich country like zambia and botswana step on our tails like that. be warned a hungry lion is more deadly than a spoiled one

    1. What hungry lion? Zim is already starving not hungry.

  28. The bridge is almost complete. What are you talking about ? Blocking ?

    1. Chemberedzagumhana

      Yes, I’ve seen pics of the bridge. It’s almost complete and I also wonder what all the hot air is about. If anything I think this bridge will infect help Zimbabweans and their goods spend less time at Beitbridge. Remember time is money!

  29. Che, zim haina mari yokuenda kuhondo. The country is bankrupt,it can not afford a war. Hondo hakusi kuridza gidi chete umwe wangu. Masoja abaika nenzara arikuda kutotengesa pfuti dzacho iwe waakuti hondo unopenga murume. Kiikikikikikikik.

  30. @FISH Spot-on! Where were you all along? You should have told these fools axactly what is quadriapoint. Thanks! I think these idiots have understood.

  31. @Fish. Wakabviro kopa uchiri ku primary school. Hausati waregera nhai? Have u ever heard of the terminology ‘plagiarism’ or perhaps it does not exist in your vocabulary! Inonzi intellectual theft iyoyo. Learn to acknowledge the works of other people. Zvawangoita copy and paste definition ya quadripoint sezvazviri paWikipedia! Kkkkk. Ndanga ndaku bigger manje sorry maningi sitereki!

  32. @Fish Zvawasiirazve zve 150 metres yakabvumiranwa kuti hainei ne quadripoint. Pedzisa hako kuita copy and paste ndaspakwa. Pane gwaro rinoti zvebridge iri zvakatobvumiranwa kare kare saka kutungana kwembudzi kwatavakuita hedu.

  33. Pple lets be objective, in as much as Zambia nd Botswana shld in all fairness nd rightly so consult us, we have to luk at ourselves, our roads r bad, our border is congested nd corrupt, our duty is too much,high transit fees. Travelling thru our border is stressfull,tiresome nd cumbersome. Lets address these issues such as Harare-Chirundi Road etc then we take it frm there

  34. my best friend’s half-sister makes $61 hourly on the laptop . She has been without a job for 5 months but last month her income was $13169 just working on the laptop for a few hours. see it here………………………….. W­­W­W.W­o­r­­k­s­6.C­O­M

  35. Pple with Big minds are really respected only when they work towards good results. tThe problem with our leaders is that they are using aeroplanes to travel and only use vehecles when going a very short distance.
    Hw can they see that these roads are as bad as to be used only by tractors.
    So many pple hav lost lives on this road so this is great for pple’s lives. Vanhu vanoda mari kupfuura upenyu vachiti so long mota dzichifamba ivo vanhu vachipera. Regai vane hanya neupenyu navanhu vaitire vanhu zvunoita kuti vanhu vagonewo kurarama. kana tava nehanya Hre,Masvingo,Beitbridge road ngaigadzirwe

  36. Mame Mame Mamama

  37. Chemberedzagumhana

    I guess Zimbabwe will also try and block the construction of the railway line linking Mozambique and Angola via Zambia.

  38. beitbridge-harare is the busiest yet in the most deplorable state and police infested.any alternative is more than just well am to a rational motorist

  39. Self inflicted damage….yesterday I drove to Kariba from Harare, and I came across four (4) police road blocks between the Lions Den toll gate and Kariba turn off @Makuti, a distance of less than 160km????

  40. Lets fix our road. Just let the minister drive bwtn BeitBridge and Masvingo, see how many 30t truck will miss you. I drove to Byo on Friday From Mapani to just after Gwanda (less than 10km distance) there were four 3 blocks. I feel sorry SA register vehicle.

  41. The initial design of the bridge involved all 3 countries to construct a 3 way bridge linking Zim, bots and Zam…. Zim only pulled out after the initial design was done hence Zam and Bots decided
    to redesign the bridge in a way that avoided Zim territory…… Too bad Bob you would have also benefited from it had you not been greedy

  42. I pride myself as being up to date with current affairs but this issue is news to me. I will research and join the debate next time. I am humbled.

  43. When it comes to Victoria Falls we’ve always been unfairly sidelined and I think it is a wise move to prevent construction of this bridge. Why do they want to isolate us further? However on the same note, Beitbridge being the busiest border in SADC, we should invest heavily on all major roads.

  44. Sinikiwe Shumba

    Americans get involved in Iraq, Libya,Ukraine or where ever to protect their economic interests. The same with Zimbabwe, that bridge will affect our economy further downwards and so we should stop that construction.

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