Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Vice President Kembo Mohadi has directed the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to spruce up Beitbridge Border Post in line with global standards to enhance the ease of doing business and trade facilitation within the SADC region.
He said the state of affairs at the region’s busiest inland port of entry was a cause for concern.
VP Mohadi said though there was an ongoing $241 million programme to modernise Beitbridge, it was prudent for Zimra to play its part in addressing the state of buildings and environmental management issues at the border post.
He was speaking during the national clean-up programme held in the border town on Friday last week.
“We are bordering South Africa which in our context is an economic powerhouse in the region and this compels us to spruce up our image at this border and its environs which are a window or preface of what visitors should expect in Zimbabwe,” said VP Mohadi.
“The first impression that people have is what they see at this port of entry. So you need to give a correct and positive impression about Zimbabwe.
“We are talking about tourists and other visitors coming in by road and now we have a lot of unnecessary delay at the border post. In addition, the toilets at the border are not adequate and there is a lot of open defection there.
“We have Zimra here which took over the maintenance of buildings at the border from the Ministry of Local Government. Our idea was that after Zimra took over we would see a presentable border since they are the ones collecting revenue.”
VP Mohadi urged Zimra to attend to the cleanliness of the border post.
“You can’t collect revenue and fail to work on the environs around you,” he said.
“May you please attend to these issues at the border to give it the dignity it deserves.
“Yes, I know there is an existing border modernisation programme, but that is in the pipeline. What needs to be attended now is the current state of affairs, let’s spruce up our border and make it presentable and conform to modern standards.”
VP Mohadi said it was important for local authorities around Beitbridge to be innovative in addressing solid waste management and to embrace the green cities initiatives.
He said the level of littering along major highways from Beitbridge to either Bulawayo or Harare was a cause for concern and called for local authorities to come up with deterrent punitive measures to deal with litter bugs.
“It is also important that we include traditional leaders and multi-stakeholders in our quest to save our environment to adapt to effects of climate change,” said VP Mohadi.