DRC political tension affect cross border traders

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 07:18:28 +0000



POLITICAL tension in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has made it difficult for us to do business in that country, cross border traders have complained.

The cross border traders said they have resorted to do their businesses on the Zambian side because they are guaranteed 24 hours of security.

They said the political instability being experienced in the Congo has forced the cross border traders not to go into the DRC because they were feared for their lives. A representative of the cross border traders Derrick Simwinga said going into the DRC to do business has become risky because some criminals were taking advantage of the situation and robbed unsuspecting Zambian cross border traders of their goods.

Mr Simwinga said the cross border traders added value to the economic portion of the DRC especially in  the Kantanga province which  borders with  the Zambia’s Copperbelt, North-Western and Luapula provinces.

He told the Daily Nation in Kasumbalesa that the political instability in the Congo has affected the operations of the cross border traders especially when they were in Congo.

Mr Simwinga said despite the political tension in the neighbouring Congo, the security wings of that country were on high alert to protect the Congolese and foreigners especially the cross border traders but still much needed to be done for them.

He said the cross border traders are vital in the SADC and COMESA region as they contributed positively to the economic growth of the respective member countries which belong to the regional blocs.

The cross border traders said the Congo is a good trading partner with Zambia despite the political unrest in that country, because business was going on steadily as most of the Congolese traders preferred to do their business at  the Kasumbalesa border post on the Zambian side which was  a peaceful place.

Mr Simwinga has commended the defence forces, the Zambia Police and other security departments for ensuring that they maintained law and order on all the border posts which shared the geographical boundaries with the Congo.

The Cross border traders have appealed to the Zambian Government to ensure that a dry Port is built on the Zambian side so that every business transaction is done in Zambia without crossing into the Congo.

The traders said that there was plenty of land at Kasumbalesa border post on the Zambian side which could be used to build a state of the art dry port that would generate a lot of revenue and the much needed foreign exchange in Zambia.

The traders said once the dry port was constructed, cross border traders and other traders would not be panicking about their safety and losing of goods because every business deals with Congo would be done on the Zambian soil which would even make the country more


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