A BINGA chief has expressed concern over Home Affairs ministry’s failure to open Binga border post, which was mooted over a decade ago.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Chief Siansali, who was speaking in the Senate last week, said it was disheartening to see staff houses that were built over 10 years ago dilapidating due to lack of government’s seriousness to complete construction of the remaining structures and ensure the border post was functional.
The Binga-Zambia Border Post is among several government projects that have turned into white elephants after construction stalled or were not officially opened in Matabeleland region, fuelling accusations this was a deliberate ploy to disenfranchise people in the region.
“Minister [Obert Mpofu], when are we going to witness the official opening of Binga border post, considering that the staff houses were built about 15 to 20 years ago and they are now collapsing?
“The Zambian side is already open and people are crossing using the Zambian entry, but the Zimbabwean side is reluctant,” Chief Siansali asked.
The idea to construct a border post between Zimbabwe and Zambia in Binga came as part of efforts to reconnect the Tonga people who live on both sides of the Zambezi River.
They share strong cultural and religious ties.
Mpofu acknowledged government’s failure to ensure the border post opened.
“I am aware that there are some nice structures that have been put up in Binga in preparation for the commissioning of that border post. I am waiting for the report from the officials that we have assigned to look into that matter. I think the reason is that the other stakeholders have not done their part in addressing that situation,” he said.
“Senator Chief Siansali, I have been there even before I became a minister of Home Affairs and I was actually concerned about the lack of movement on our side yet on the Zambian side, the facilities have already been provided for that border post. I want to assure this august House that this should be addressed within the 100 days plan that His Excellency has set us to accomplish.”