Walter Nyamukondiwa, Kariba Bureau
Clearing of travellers at Kariba Border post and airport is taking longer than usual since the computerised port management system has been down for the past six months, forcing border authorities process manually.
People using the Kariba Airport are cleared by immigration officials seconded from Kariba Border Post and the breakdown has affected the smooth flow of traffic.
Clearing of people tends to be slower when done manually than through the computerised system.
Immigration officer Mr Christopher Robson told Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu during his visit to Kariba airport that the system needs to be fixed before borders are reopened to ordinary traffic.
“Our computerised system has been down for more than six months now and with prospects of the borders reopening, it is important that the system is fixed,” said Mr Robson.
“Our officers are failing to log in. The system needs to be upgraded and brought back online so that we can process travellers efficiently.”
The port normally handles large volumes of human traffic crossing into and coming from Zambia and at least five trucks each day as most trucks prefer using the Chirundu Border Post owing to the relatively short distance and rugged terrain along the Kariba-Makuti Road.
The border also handles large volumes of local and international visitors that want to walk across the Kariba Dam wall.
Port officials said there was need for more protective personal equipment for staff before the border is opened.