Posted on October 8, 2012 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport
ZIMBABWE and Botswana will open a fourth border post by May next year to ease congestion at Plumtree, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi has announced.
The two neighbours say the plan has been on the table for years, but only now is urgency is being injected by growing human and vehicle traffic at Plumtree and the other two crossings at Mphoengs and Maitengwe.
Yet Mohadi admitted Zimbabwe could struggle to set up infrastructure at the new crossing at Mlambapeli, citing financial problems.
The minister told the Bulawayo Chronicle: “We have agreed that this border post should be operational by May next year. We don’t think we will fail to set up just a temporary structure despite financial challenges.
“This will come as a relief to people living in this area who have their relatives across the Shashe River and have to go to Botswana to do some rituals and attend burials. We hope that in time all countries in the region will scrap the visa requirements because we are a family.”
Mohadi said most people living in the southern parts of Gwanda were being forced to travel to Bulawayo and then Plumtree – a distance of over 400km – when they can almost see the border across the Shashe River.
Edwin Batshu, Botswana’s Home Affairs Minister, said: “In 2008 we agreed that we should do something and see that there is a crossing point here. Unfortunately, we were hit by economic recession and as a result the project has been delayed.
“We have agreed that we target May by which this border post can be running. Between now and May we need to work tirelessly in establishing infrastructure, including roads, so that we reduce (pressure) at Ramokgwebana [Botswana side of Plumtree border post] and that can only be done through commitment by the two republics.”
» Filed Under Politics; Business, Sport