Kazungula residents helping to load into a truck cases of cooking oil which dropped on the roadside after a truck overturned
A truck with cooking oil smuggled from south Africa recently lost its load

The taskforce on the control of importation of edible oils has called on all stakeholders in the country to uphold the law that bars the importation of these products so as to help the sector thrive and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.

This call came when the taskforce took a tour of the Chirundu border post to ascertain why there is still an influx of refined and packaged cooking oil coming into the country.

Department of Agribusiness Acting Principle Economist Matongo Munsanje, who is also Team leader of the Taskforce said the tour was necessitated by the fact that the Ministry has in the past two months not issued any permit for refined oils but the commodity has continued to come into the country.

Mr Munsanje said this shows that there could be something wrong or any other challenges that the stakeholders are facing at the point of entry.

Stakeholders at the Chirundu border have complained that the new system at the Zambia Revenue Authority, which is e – commerce has secluded them from the ASYCUDA programme where they have no access as they are unable to know what goods are coming into the country.

Environmental Health Officer at the Port of Health Point Kabeela Kagula said Zambia Revenue Authority(ZRA) takes the lead in processing import permits of commodities and the department is mostly unaware of the products that are passing through the border.

Mrs Kagula said in the past customs officers were trained on how to handle goods and those that needed clearance from various sectors would be directed for clearance to their respective offices.

She said some goods are cleared as far as Beit bridge and will just pass through the border without inspection from the relevant authorities.

She lamented that this problem has been observed since 2010 when the ASYCUDA system under ZRA was introduced which has not included the other stakeholders leaving the control of goods coming into the country to ZRA alone.

The Bureau of Standards officer Gerald said the same and called for ZRA to incorporate them in the system so as to help curb this vice.

Meanwhile, ZRA Customs Officer Joshua Phiri said there was also need for them to be trained and have machinery that could detect what was crude oil or edible oil so as to put a stop to it.

Mr Phiri said samples can be taken to Lusaka and back does not support that they keep a tanker of oil marooned at the courts because it was considered dangerous to the people.

He said if this can be done then quick intervention can be accorded and importers either fined or commodities disposed of according to what the act stipulates.

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12 COMMENTS

    • Zambians need to learn to cook with less oil. A 750ml bottle of Olive oil lasts me 4 months. That’s how much oil I use in my cooking!

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  1. …do not mis-apply words…..that was not ‘smuggling’….it was legally imported into the country….if custom officers cannot identify cooking oil how about drugs like cocaine…. hashish…??

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  2. ZRA has no capacity to deal with this problem alone. Why? Because as some have indicated in this same article, to know what is coming in means having the technical knowledge to identify, then whatever cheating will stop, unless it be downright corruption.

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  3. I was amazed when I saw the qty of maize stacked along the road as I was driving from Mpika to Nakonde. Gents, dont be cheated Northerners are equally hard working. We should not leave in deceit.

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  4. …the so called Taskforce just want be newsmakers…if tomorrow another truck carrying tomatoes and potatoes from SA overturns…will they cry foul.??..
    …this is something which they already know or have known for years…we import already made chips…cucumbers..onions…sweetpotatoes …chickens and many more items which in reality we do not deserve to import…

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  5. She said some goods are cleared as far as Beit bridge and will just pass through the border without inspection from the relevant authorities.


    Well next time a truck full of guns and pangas will overturn!

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  6. Dear Taskforce. Please tell us the SI which says importation of cooking oil is banned in Zambia. We will be obliged to get the SI. A minister saying anything can’t become a LAW. Please show us an SI ( Statutory Instrument)

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  7. I am allergic to soya oil. And palm oil has too much cholesterol. Doctors recommended me sunflower oil.I am going to die soon consuming local oils cos I doubt anyone manufacturers pure sunflower oil in Zambia. I am going to die. Please help me.

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