New border post for Botswana, Zimbabwe

Posted on October 8, 2012 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport,+Zimbabwe/news.aspx

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.”

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