Monday, May 20, 2013

Chikwanda urges complete overhaul of infrastructure
By Edwin Mbulo in Sesheke
Sat 18 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

FINANCE minister Alexander Chikwanda says the government cannot continue to do business without the complete overhaul of infrastructure and harmonisation of trade policies.

Speaking when he officially opened the KR30 million Katima Mulilo one-stop border facility, Chikwanda said the government is committed in its resolve to remove bottlenecks such as poor cross border facilities in its quest to promote regional integration.

"The sub-regional economic communities namely SADC and COMESA had identified the North-South corridor as one of the most critical infrastructure requirements for regional integration. The development of the Katima-Mulilo border post is therefore timely and will no doubt significantly contribute towards the fulfillment of the regional integration agenda. We cannot continue to do business as usual without the complete overhaul of infrastructure and harmonisation of trade policies if we want the north-south corridor to meet the challenges of inter regional trade," he said.

Chikwanda said the new border facility would help promote the smooth and efficient flow of goods, facilitate increased intra and inter-regional trade, reduce the cost of doing business and improve the flow of foreign direct investment and ultimately increasing growth and prosperity of the region.

And home affairs minister Edgar Lungu said the Katima Mulilo border post was almost turning into a white elephant in the MMD regime.
He said the border post would ease the movement of the people of Namibia and Zambia especially after the signing of the SADC Protocol by Zambia.

And Western Province minister Mwaliteta said the opening of the border showed the government's commitment to infrastructure development which was critical for social and economic development.

ZRA director general Berlin Msiska said good border facilities would help improve the way the institution conducted its business through increased inspection capacity of targeted traffic.

And a Namibian representative, Cletus Sipapela, said his country was greatly indebted to Zambia for its past assistance during the liberation struggle.

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