Zim, Bots urged to establish one-stop border
Lincoln Towindo in MAUN, Botswana
ZIMBABWE and Botswana must step up implementation of cross-border infrastructural development projects aimed at facilitating regional trade which are central to the attainment of the two countries’ socio-economic goals, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Acting Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Rofina Chikava, has said.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the meeting of senior officials at the Fourth Session of the Botswana-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC) here yesterday, Ambassador Chikava emphasised the urgency of action.
She highlighted two specific projects – the Plumtree-Ramokgwebana One-Stop Border Post and the Ponta Techobanine Railway Line – as key pillars of development that hold immense potential to unlock economic growth, create jobs, and improve livelihoods.
The proposed Plumtree-Ramokgwebana One-Stop Border Post aims to streamline customs and immigration procedures at the two countries’ shared border, reducing transit times and associated costs for businesses.
On the other hand, the Ponta Techobanine Railway Line will connect eastern Botswana to Mozambique’s ports, providing an alternative trade route for both countries and boosting regional connectivity.
“I am hopeful that this session will leap forward progress on some pending projects,” she said.
“I know this has been said many times before, in our previous sessions, but, permit me, dear colleagues, to just reiterate the urgency of establishing a one-stop border post at the Plumtree/Ramokgwebana border post and the conclusion of the Ponta Techobanine Railway Line Project.
“You will agree with me that these projects have high-level public interest as they are designed to achieve some important development and social objectives.”
“Central to all of them is the noble idea of advancing border efficiency, ensuring free movement of people and trade facilitation.
Apart from human movement between Zimbabwe Botswana borders, livestock seem to be moving seamlessly across the membrane.
During Last night’s cabinet press briefing, Minister for Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Hon Dr Jenfen Muswere informed conformed that the two countries had agreements to curb cross border livestock rustling.
“Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republics of Zimbabwe and Botswana on Cooperation to Combat Cross-Border Livestock Rustling.
The nation is informed that the Memorandum of Understanding aims to establish a legal framework for cooperation between the Republics of Zimbabwe and Botswana inorder to harmonise efforts on combating livestock rustling and any other associated crimes.
This initiative also seeks to maintain the historic ties between the Parties through cooperation, while respecting national sovereignty,” said Hon Dr Muswere.