Govt commissions border post . . . Facility to reconnect BaTonga in Zim and Zambia
Leonard Ncube in Binga
GOVERNMENT has commissioned Kasambabezi Border Post in Binga in a development that is set to catapult the usually dormant Matabeleland North district to development through tourism and trade with neighbouring Zambia.
The border post is one of Government projects spearheaded through the 100-day cycle under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
Besides opening trade links between Binga and Mamba town in Zambia across the Zambezi River, the border post reconnects the BaTonga people on either side of the river thereby enhancing unity between the two neighbouring countries.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi commissioned the facility yesterday afternoon after commissioning the Binga Community Craft Centre which was renovated by Government last year.
VP Mohadi said the facility situated on the edge of the Zambezi River, about six kilometres north-east of Binga centre, is a trump card for Binga and Government.
“This is a trump card. It’s going to help in many ways. First and foremost, the river Zambezi and Kariba Dam separated the two Tonga communities on either side. All this time they didn’t have something that links them and when they do their cultural activities, they need to go there but they had to cross via Victoria Falls and come to this side which was problematic,” said VP Mohadi.
He said the facility will ease traffic between the two countries.
“They have been actually clamouring for it and as Government we said let’s make it happen. So, it’s one of the things that’s going to give us mileage in terms of trade as well. It’s a very important border post as it will even shorten the route for us as Government.
“A lot of maize is grown on the southern side of Zambia and it will be shorter for maize to come into Zimbabwe through Binga other than going to Livingstone and Kariba,” said VP Mohadi.
The facility has makeshift offices for the Immigration Department while Zimra is expected to move in soon.
A 400-metre road from the offices to the harbour is being cleared.
Already travellers are being attended to at the facility and use the police harbour while construction of an immigration harbour will commence soon.
VP Mohadi said the harbour will be developed once a bill of quantities is prepared.
“Documents are currently being processed at the offices and people are taken to the police harbour to cross. We await the bill of quantities from the officials and once they tell us what’s needed, we will then provide,” he said.
Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera said Government will expedite operationalisation of the border post.
He said water, electricity and road facilities will be ready before the end of the month.
He said the border post for now will be open for human traffic until a proper harbour is built.
Senator Chief Siansali of Binga said the facility is a welcome development which had been long overdue for the people of Binga.
“There has been a long wait for Binga people to connect with Zambia because we are one people divided by the river. This will ensure people visit their folks and also pave way for development,” he said. — @ncubeleon