By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE decision to restrict commercial cargo by road through the Victoria Falls Border Post was made by the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments and not by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
This measure came into effect on January 1, this year.
It is an agreed position of the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments because the Victoria Falls infrastructure was designed for tourism and not commercial traffic, says ZRA Commissioner General, Kingsley Chanda.
Mr Chanda was reacting to threats by clearing agents at the Victoria Falls Border Post to protest if ZRA did not categorise which type of goods would be carried by wagons and those by trucks.
The agents last week demanded that ZRA should come up with a list of goods which should be exported and imported using railway transport and those by roads.
In response, Mr Chanda in an interview stressed that this was not decision made by ZRA while expressing worry that the ignorance of some clearing agents was extremely dangerous.
“This was not a ZRA decision. ZRA role is to implement government policy as pronounced in border control laws and regulations.
“ZRA does not make laws nor issue statutory instruments. The ignorance of some clearing agents is extremely dangerous,” he said.
Mr Chanda explained that the decision was made to preserve the bridge by limiting the weight load as it was now old and risky for heavy trucks.
“It is an agreed position of the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments to preserve the national park and wildlife around the Victoria Falls, and reduce animal/human conflict,” he said.
Last week, ZRA Corporate Communications Manager, Topsy Sikalinda, said all commercial cargo intended for import and export using road would have to use alternative entry or exit points such as Kazungula or Chirundu.
Mr Sikalinda urged the business sector to note that the limited facilities at Victoria Falls Border Post were not designed to handle commercial cargo.