Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale has urged all stakeholders operating at Kazungula border post to prepare adequately for the emergence of the multibillion Kazungula bridge project across the Zambezi river.
Mr. Hamukale said the Kazungula bridge, which is still under construction and will be launched in 2019, will bring about a lot of development in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
He said it was for this reason that every Zambian portray a positive image of the country to the outsiders who enter Zambia through Kazungula border and other entry points.
The provincial minister said it was not good for international visitors to have a bad impression about Zambia as a result of poor services and bad reception they get from the local people as they enter the country.
He said this in Kazungula during a stakeholders’ meeting that comprised Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), immigration department, council, police, clearing agents and representatives of insurance companies among others.
Mr. Hamukale said clearing agents play an important role in ensuring that international visitors are treated fairly so that they can feel welcomed into the country.
He stressed the need for all business entities operating at the border to be well organized through conducting their businesses in an orderly manner.
Mr. Hamukale further urged insurance companies doing business at the Kazungula border post to compete favourably through having a uniform charge so that international visitors can stop complaining of being overcharged at times.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hamukale has noted that Kazungula, as a growing town, needed a lot of infrastructure such as hotels and a filling station among others.
He said people should have a long term vision on how Kazungula town border should look like adding that a lot of preparedness is therefore needed before the Kazungula bridge is launched in 2019.
Speaking at the same meeting, Immigration Officer in charge at Kazungula border post Michael Banda said his department was operating normally.
Mr. Banda said his department has never received complaints from tourists concerning the way they were treated.