Victoria Falls – The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has banned the banned haulage trucks from using the Livingstone-Victoria Falls Border Post, redirecting such traffic to Kazungula Bridge.
The ban is effective March 1, 2021, and the justification given was the need to reduce the volume of heavy commercial traffic into the resort areas of Livingstone and Victoria Falls.
Four countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – just about meet at the Kazungula quadripoint.
Botswana and Zambia recently opened a bridge to link their two countries there, in a project that Zimbabwe was invited to participate in but failed to do so.
According the Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ), nearly 100 haulage trucks daily cross the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe over the Zambezi River. Most of these are 30-tonners carrying copper, coal, coke, cobalt, sulphur and other commodities to destinations that include Angola, Botswana, the DRC, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
And SFAAZ chairperson Dr Paul Shambare said Zambia’s decision would hurt Zimbabwe’s transport sector and revenue collections.
“Clearing agents who do not have branches at other ports of entry will also feel the pitch some of them might even close shop,” Dr Shambare added.
The ban could negatively affect revenue collection along the Victoria Falls-Beitbridge Corridor as some transporters may opt to shun the route.
Past vice-president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Mr Ozious Marange said, “Zambia should be persuaded to reverse the move. I don’t know if they are not violating SADC protocols and the principles of the free trade areas. What they are doing is smartly isolating Zimbabwe from benefitting from the North-South corridor.”
Mr Marange added that the ban meant the commercial route from Zimbabwe to Livingston in Zambia has just been increased from 10km to 200km.
Some observers say the decision to re-route traffic to Kazungula is part of a strategy by