Namibian registered Trucks that were held in Zambia
Namibian registered Trucks that were held in Zambia

Namibian President Hage Geingob’s intervention – by personally telephoning his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu – has helped secure the release of about 200 of approximately 400 haulage trucks seized in Zambia in February.

The trucks were held while Zambian authorities verified permits and other relevant documentation after which they would receive clearance to continue their journeys to Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania.

The trucks, many of whom are carrying Mukula timber, a protected high-quality tree species found in Zambia, were impounded for authorities in that country to confirm where the wood was harvested and whether the trucking companies were in possession of the relevant papers needed to transport the protected species.

Some of the impounded trucks originate from companies registered in Zambia, as well as from Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania.

Spokesperson in the Presidency Albertus Aochamub confirmed Geingob’s role in the matter upon enquiry yesterday.

“Absolutely. It was the president’s intervention that lead to the impasse being resolved,” he said late yesterday.

Zambia’s High Commissioner to Namibia Stella Libongani confirmed the latest developments yesterday, saying “About 200 of those trucks impounded have been cleared, meaning that their documentation has been screened and it has been found that there was nothing wrong with what they are carrying.”

She added that about 170 trucks were still being screened to determine whether they have the required documents to continue on their journey and emphasised that none of the truck drivers were detained or arrested.

“The issue of screening the trucks is secondary. The primary issue here is the companies or dealers hiring these trucks to move their commodities. These dealers or companies are putting our citizens at risk, but, we are doing everything possible to ensure the impounded vehicles are released as quickly as possible,” Mrs. Libongani confirmed.

Commenting on the latest development, CEO of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Tarah Shaanika was sceptical, saying the chamber had heard the “clearance” story before.

“Every week we hear that the trucks will be leaving on Friday. Now they say the cleared trucks will be leaving this Friday. I guess we will just have to wait and see if this happens.”

The NCCI CEO added that he was extremely disappointed that it took the Zambian government six months to clear the trucks.

“This delay in clearing the trucks derails all the integration efforts in the region. It is not good for business to keep trucks for that long,” Shaanika lamented.

He went on to say some of the drivers of the impounded trucks have complained that while they had been cleared to leave they had not received the documentation back, which they needed to depart from Zambia.

Most of the impounded trucks were said to be transporting Mukula timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Mainland China.

The NCCI has previously questioned the legality of the truck seizures, as the goods on the trucks were not harvested in Zambia but by businesses with valid permits operating in the DRC. The NCCI has also remained adamant that the Namibian truckers were simply transporting goods from suppliers to the clients and were never involved in the harvesting of the timber.

“We understand that [the harvesting of] the Mukula timber, which caused the impounding, is prohibited to be harvested in Zambia but not in the DRC. Our trucks carried timber from the DRC with valid documentation, which was inspected by Zambian customs officials and found to be valid and authentic.

“The Zambian authorities even sealed the cargo at the Kasumbalesa border post between DRC and Zambia, which under normal circumstances would be inspected again at the Sesheke-Katima Mulilo border post,” Shaanika said during a recent media briefing.

Local transporters whose trucks were seized have also complained that they incurred heavy financial losses, running into tens of millions in lost revenue.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s us not politicise this.

    There is nothing remotely wrong with this.

    The reporting leaves a lot to be desired though

    My fiancé Nick always reminds me that I should trust him and there are certain things he does that I may not agree with him but he does it in the interest of making sure I’m okay.

    I look up to him and love him.

    Similar here with Lungu. This is Business As Usual as we say.

    Thanks

    Bb2014,2016

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    • Nothing goes scot free in Zambia. Create a crisis of expectation and the brown envelope is passed on. Zambian institutions are now appearing incompetent if everything has to involve the Present before it can be be attended to. More likely that office has usurped the decisions of lower organs.

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    • I disagree with you @Mushota, that Ka incompetent Lungu was put in he’s place by the very Honorable President Geingob. The Namibians- my people exercised patience and maturity on this matter.
      Your Ka dictator is even incompetent in managing he’s dictatorship he can’t get anything right.

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    • Hahaha, you been engaged for way too long, white boy prolly does not like seeing you after you wake up in the morning that is why he ain’t marrying you yet. Back to the topic with your ignorant Lungu, he got paid that is why he let those illegal trucks go through with our stolen timber. Mushota, you are an annoying ignorant waste of oxygen and sometimes I wished you would shut your ignorant filthy mouth and the world would be a better place. Thank you

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  2. So according to this Zambian official in Namibia, Libongani, the trucks were found to have had genuine documents after the two presidents talked on phone.

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    • This is how a village headman behaves, getting credit where none is due by creating problems where none exist.

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  3. This is the first time the President’s name is being linked to alot of scandal related deals. President Chiluba was a shrewd politician but not to this level. Such clandestine transactions from the president is making it very difficulty for responsible officers and line ministries to operate.
    The president should stay away from being personally involved in scandal related transactions or is it a case of not knowing his role as a head of state?

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  4. when I tell you that PF is full of corruption and evil; this is it; HH is falsely accused and they can’t release him or let our chiefs have easy access to him,

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  5. Govt inefficiency at work here Inefficiency breeds corruption. Destroy inefficiency and you destroy the breeding ground of corruption.

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    • This is not about inefficiency. This is about corruption. Squeezing people and businesses on flimsy grounds. This is what Lungu is doing to HH, and all he needs is for HH to squeal that Lungu is President and then he will release him. Sumaili and RB have said as much.

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  6. Who says lungu does not interfere in police, ZRA, Customs issues and court issues ????

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  7. And some naive foool will say Lazy does not interfer…he has publicly interfered twice by releasing the Chines and now this…

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  8. Most Zambians like monkey type of drinking and sex orgies to the extent they neglect to perform their work. No wonder corruption cannot be abated.

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  9. 2020 vision you just wrote evil about UPND, especially calling UPND donkeys.. Here you complain of govenment inefficiency and corruption. who is in Government? UPND , UPP, FDD,or UNIP?
    My friend evaluate your value system. what are your value system based on?

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  10. Mediocrity at its best.A landlocked country/ landlinked country being so insensitive about transborder trade?Too much fake politics and corruption. We are living in an era of integration. You go for conferences with a lot of pomp and funfare get perdiem and come with empty heads.The summit was successful !! A lot of vimbuza dances at the airport and drunk cadres high on weed.Woe to mother Zambia. What has gone wrong to this once promising country?

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  11. Guys we are only 50 years out of the village. We are not a democracy. Those who believe the facade are a perfect representation of the shocking ignorance evident in our everyday life. Those who fight to be in the corridors of power do not need you or I per say. We are just an interview board and now they have the positions why do we moan about. Its as it should be. Suffer!

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