By ANDREW MUKOMA
SOME unscrupulous people have encroached the Kazungula One Stop Border Post premises, building illegal areas near the parameter.
As a result, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is worried that the mushrooming buildings could turn the facility into shanty compound thereby compromising security. ZRA Corporate Communications Manager, Topsy Sikalinda, said in Kazungula over the weekend that if the situation was left unchecked, smuggling would take root.
He observed that the structures being built around the border post could be turned into hiding places for goods that were not yet cleared by the facility. Mr Sikalinda wondered how the council could give land to developers surrounding the border, which was a security and state facility. “Our concern as the revenue collector and lead agency at Kazungula Border Post is the issue of security in the sense that we have seen a number of buildings that have started coming out around the border area,” he said.
“This is a serious concern to us. Basically, what we need is the situation where the border area is left with enough space to breath and enough space so that security situation is guaranteed, but the situation of encroachment all around the border is worrying us as an authority,” Mr Sikalinda explained.
Mr Sikalinda was hopeful that with the appointments of new cabinet under the new UPND Government, the issue would be resolved. “What we see if it continues with this pace, two to three years from now this place will become a shanty compound, it will become a market and we will have all sorts of confusion and it will be difficult to manage the situation. “We are hoping to engage relevant authorities and as you’re aware with the way laws are structured; if land has been given, only a senior government official can reverse the decision and we already engaged the various ministries,” he said.