ZIMBABWE is lagging behind in terms of conclusively reaffirming its borders with neighbouring countries to avoid potential conflicts arising from the exploitation of resources and other disagreements that may affect good relations.
The border reaffirmation exercise is in line with the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) that requires all member States of the continental body to complete all international boundaries reaffirmations by the year 2023.
This was revealed by the Auditor-General, Mrs Mildred Chiri, in her 2018 annual report tabled before Parliament last week.
The AUBP was adopted in 2007, during the 8th Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa under the theme “preventing conflicts and promoting integration” and one of its ambitious goals was “the delimitation and demarcation of African boundaries” where this had not yet taken place by 2017.
This deadline was extended to 2023, following a programme review in 2016.
Mrs Chiri warned that delays in reaffirming boundaries was likely to give rise to more conflicts along the border areas and urged the Government to speed up the process.
“Taking long to reaffirm the boundaries may give rise to more conflicts along the border areas with neighbouring countries,” she said.
The Government, through the Surveyor-General Department, had planned to reaffirm at least 200 kilometres of its international boundaries every year, but it only managed to reaffirm 53km, which translate to 27 percent of the planned annual output.
Mrs Chiri attributed the delay to lack of coordination in resource mobilisation among the countries involved.
“Despite the fact that the department managed to get $119 941, which is 70 percent, out of the total budget of $172 508, the output did not correspond to the resources utilised during the year under review,” she said.