Scarce parking causing jams at borders

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BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
INSUFFICIENT parking space at some of Zimbabwe’s border posts such as Kazungula, Victoria Falls and Nyamapanda are causing unnecessary delays in clearing cross-border traffic.

Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry secretary Munesushe Munodawafa disclosed this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment to speak on challenges experienced by the tourism sector.

“Border posts are the first point of encounter with our tourists and they have a bearing to the recovery and growth of the tourism sector. The country has a total of 24 functional border posts. However, the entry points that are mostly active for tourism purposes are 10,” Munodawafa said.

“Kazungula has very little space. We have seen a lot of junk around the border from uncleared vehicles, thereby limiting parking space for tourist vehicles and giving a very bad first impression of the destination. The poor state of the border building compared to the Botswana side does not give a good image. The whole set-up, therefore, needs to be revamped.

“The other challenge is that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority is not pumping enough water. The pump is too old and sometimes there are no chemicals for water treatment. At Victoria Falls and Nyamapanda, there is also limited office space at the border and there is congestion of trucks, which inconveniences tourists.”

He said borders have many players such as the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Department of Immigration and many others, yet there is no particular institution responsible for infrastructure maintenance. “The visa payment systems also delay tourists. Of late, we witnessed delays in clearance of arrivals, particularly at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. The reasons are port health clearance, filling in of forms by both returning residents and tourists, and delays in visa payments.”

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