We’re tightening borders to curb smuggling: Kazembe

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Kazembe Kazembe

BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
GOVERNMENT says it will tighten the country’s borders to curb smuggling of minerals out of the country at a time when reports state that Zimbabwe is losing US$100 million worth of gold every month to smuggling.

Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe told legislators in the National Assembly last week that relevant ministries would come up with approaches to stop smuggling at ports of
entry.

“The issue to do with the alleged smuggling of gold touches a number of ministries. It requires a holistic approach. We are working together with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, who are also doing their bit to ensure that this problem is dealt with,” he said.

“From a policing point of view, we must capacitate our police in terms of resources and technology to deal with smuggling. Our borders, as we all know, are not that tight and that is the starting point.”

Kazembe said the Transport ministry chaired the Port Authority and should ensure, together with the Home Affairs ministry that borders are secure.

“There is a lot of work that is being done at Beitbridge Border Post in terms of deploying technology that will make it very difficult to smuggle goods in or out. When you go there, you will see that they have deployed cameras, surveillance systems and access control systems. Those are efforts to ensure that our borders are tight.”

He said airports also needed latest technology to curb mineral smuggling.

“Internally, it is also critical to ensure that our police are well-resourced with vehicles and all necessities to ensure that they can enforce the law,” he
said.

Kazembe said the Mines ministry was in the process of amending the archaic Mines and Minerals Act to ensure that loopholes are closed.

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