Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
TOURISM players in Victoria Falls have mobilised $12, 000 for the construction of a shed at Kazungula Border post amid reports some tourists have fainted at the border because of excessive direct heat.
Unlike Beitbridge and Plumtree Border posts, Kazungula and Victoria Falls have no holding sheds for travellers despite the excessive heat because of high temperatures.
Representing Zimbabwe Council for Tourism, Mrs Barbara Murasiranwa said hotels and tour operators wanted to build a shed after noticing that their clients were fainting while waiting to be served at the border where the process is ‘very slow.’
She was briefing the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) board at a meeting to sample challenges facing the industry in Victoria Falls last week.
“Challenges at ports of entry are a deterrent to visiting tourists. The industry wanted to build a shed at Kazungula to cater for visitors at a cost of $12, 000. We had agreed to contribute to raise the money but Zimra stopped us saying they’ll do it,” she said.
Mrs Murasiranwa alleged that for close to two years, the shed hasn’t been erected.
“One year has passed and when we enquired, we established that Zimra felt if we carried out the project, the tourism industry would be glorified as it will be known that it’s the operators who built it.
“There is no space at the border and most people who use the port of entry are tourists moving between Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia and because of the delays and hustles at the border, they have to endure direct heat and many have collapsed while in queues,” added Mrs Murasiranwa.
She said this was a huge challenge for operators as she implored ZTA to help.
Acting Zimra Commissioner Mr Happias Kuzvinzwa requested questions in writing yesterday and had not responded to an email sent to him at the time of going to press.
Meanwhile, Mrs Murasiranwa called upon the government to equip ports of entry with electronic point of sale machines such as Visa and Master Card to speed up the process of attending to travellers.
Kazungula and Victoria Falls border posts are part of the Uni-visa facility, which seeks to enable free and efficient movement of people between Zimbabwe and Zambia.