Tuesday, 6 August 2019

TRUCKERS PROTEST AT FORBES BORDER POST


Haulage truck drivers from Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo recently threatened to disrupt business at Forbes Border Post as they protested against inefficiencies by ZIMRA which saw them spending up to four days at the point of entry.

The truckers raised concerns that Zimra did not have enough electronic seals for all the trucks that cross the border on a daily basis and hence they were now being made to pay US$10 per day they spent parked at TOWAZ waiting for sealing.

Victor Kabwe, a driver from DRC said empty trucks and loaded trucks had to follow the same queue for them to be cleared, a move which was causing delays since it took longer to clear loaded goods.

“When we are loaded coming to Zimbabwe, we go to Towaz, where they seal the trucks. There are too many trucks because the seals are few and we spend more than three days there waiting for seals,” he said.

Another trucker, Jeffery Mukarakate, said the delays were causing artificial shortages of fuel in Zambia.

“We need to come up with solutions. If they are having trouble with the seals they should just put a waiver on it because the fuel we are carrying is for the Ministry of Energy in Zambia, so we are now causing artificial shortages in Zambia by our delays here. There are about 300 trucks and each truck carries an average of 40 000 litres. So we are talking of about 700 000 litres that is being delayed. Zambia needs the fuel to move their mines but now it’s taking long,” he said

Provincial administrator Mr Edgars Seenza said he held a meeting with the drivers and customs officials and most of the issues raised had since been addressed. 

“The truckers raised genuine concerns which we felt needed to be addressed urgently. We had a meeting with customs officials and the drivers. We had to make sure that we assist these drivers from our sister countries and facilitate for their smooth passage through Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mr Seenza said Zimra brought in 200 seals on Sunday and another 500 seals had been delivered by yesterday and the majority of trucks had since left the country.

He said Zimra and the security company manning the gates had also agreed to have two separate queues for loaded and empty trucks to ensure that everyone is served on time. Manica Post

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