Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
Government is constructing staff houses for civil servants at Kazungula border post, a development that will result in improved service and modernisation of the port on the boundary with Botswana.
Kazungula border post is about 70km from Victoria Falls city and Government workers stationed there have over the years been commuting on a daily basis to and from work.
In line with the vision of delivering affordable and quality housing for its workers both in urban and rural areas, Government is constructing houses for Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and Immigration department workers at Kazungula border under the 100-Day Cycle.
The houses are located inside Kazungula Police Camp.
Four detached houses, each to accommodate four Zimra workers are almost complete.
Construction started in 2019 and will lead to more staff being deployed to the port as Government believes provision of office and accommodation space will make devolution and decentralisation agenda a reality.
When a news crew visited the border yesterday, workmen from the department of Public Works were working to complete the project.
The houses have been roofed, ceiling fitted and tubing for electricity completed.
Each house has four compartments and each will house a single employee and his or her family.
Frames to support solar panels have been mounted on the roofs.
Similar structures for the department of immigration are at foundation level and workers were busy ramming the floors before actual construction can take place.
The total budget for the project could not be immediately established yesterday.
This is one of the many projects being implemented by Government under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and envisioned to lead the nation towards an upper middle income economy by 2030.
It will also see the three kilometre road from the border to the police camp being rehabilitated.
The border also needs upgrading with construction of more infrastructure such as waiting sheds, car park and improvement on signage which has been destroyed by haulage trucks on the Zimbabwean side of the border.
There are also water challenges which also needs to be attended to as the border post modernises. Zimbabwe National Water Authority is responsible for water provision at the border.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo who visited the project recently said there is significant progress at most 100-Day Cycle and devolution projects being implemented by Government in the province.
The minister toured the project with a team from the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring, Implementation of Government Programmes that had been moving around the province assessing progress and documenting all projects being implemented by the Second Republic.
“We moved around the province with a team that is documenting projects being undertaken by the Second Republic through Devolution and under the 100-Day Cycle to assess progress.
“The Kazungula houses for Zimra workers are almost ready while those for immigration officers are at foundation level. We are confident they, together with most projects in the province, will be completed and opened this year. This is the first of its kind to have such developments in the province and we want to the thank President
Mnangagwa and the Second Republic for the way Matabeleland North has been prioritised,” said Minister Moyo.
Kazungula border is strategically positioned as an entry point to the region, especially it being near the US$260 million Kazungula Bridge which links Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe to the region, to improve trade and commerce through interlinking countries that faced difficulties because of infrastructural bottlenecks.
It is key to Africa Agenda 2063 and Sadc Regional Development Master Plan-Vision 2027 which envisions well maintained and operated infrastructure that promotes seamless services in the region.
Its upgrading, along with other projects throughout the country reflects Government’s resolve to modernise infrastructure towards the achievement of a middle-income economy by 2030.
Regional Immigration Officer for North-West Region Mr Vincent Mukombero said the port is one of the busiest in the country, handling about 33 000 before the outbreak of Covid-19.
During lockdown, the border has been handling slightly above 2 000 travellers.
Victoria Falls border handled over 40 000 travellers per month before the outbreak Covid-19.