Thursday, June 13, 2024

Zambia reopens border with Tanzania after Covid-19 closure

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LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia reopened its Nakonde border with Tanzania on Friday after a five-day closure of the key transit point for copper and cobalt exports and fuel imports, three sources told Reuters.

President Edgar Lungu had shut the border on Sunday after the town of Nakonde recorded 76 cases of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, the highest number registered by Africa’s No. 2 copper producer in a day.

“We have trucks that have already crossed,” a logistics official said, adding that they had not yet seen an official confirmation from the provincial government.

Muchinga Province Minister Malozo Sichone did not immediately reply to Reuters’ requests for comment.

On Wednesday, Mr Sichone had today Reuters that Zambia could reopen border with Tanzania to cargo trucks today.

He said Zambia, which closed its border with Tanzania on Sunday to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, could soon reach an agreement with its neighbour over the passage of cargo trucks carrying copper and other crucial goods.

The border was closed to cargo, but on Wednesday talks were ongoing over how to allow trucks to move once again.

“The movement of cargo will commence as soon as we conclude negotiations we are having with our counterparts,” Mr. Sichone told Reuters.

Mr. Sichone had previously said priority would be given to trucks bringing essential goods such as fuel, medical supplies, and food into Zambia.

“By today we could conclude,” Mr. Sichone said on Wednesday.

A logistics official, however, said the border was only expected to reopen for metal exports this weekend.

A second logistics company manager said the closure is having a “big impact” on the flow of trucks carrying copper from Zambian and Congolese mines out to the port of Dar es Salaam.

“Customers are halting loading material onto trucks headed to Dar es Salaam until there is clarity,” he said.

Tanzania had confirmed 509 cases of the coronavirus, with 21 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization.

The government has been criticised for not providing regular updates on the spread of the outbreak, and the opposition has accused it of being secretive.

12 COMMENTS

  1. The situation is under control so the rational thing to do is reopen for essential services. Its weekend today and I am spending it at my farm house with my kids and beautiful wife. What about you in diaspora? Have you even paid rent to your European landmaster. Kz

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  2. So am guessing they have assessed that the threat from Tanzania has been contained or it’s the normal !diotic dull PF way of making irrational stup!d decisions??

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  3. And how is this going to help if Tanzania has thousands of cases…this is where you need strong leadership unfortunately we have a charlatan in State house.

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  4. Ma jokes mu Zambia, close border, re-open border again. Nothing substantial done in between the closure and the opening.
    I suppose this is better than closing churches when you have two cases and opening them when you have 250 cases.

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  5. Not until they start seeing fatalities like what they had in Europe and America…. the government and the people of Zambia are not going to grasp how careless they have been

  6. Reopening the border after closing it for 5 days. It doesn’t make any sense, I wonder if these guys have the slightest understanding of what they do.

    Every day, it is wrong decisions.

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  7. Let me explain to the ones above. Essential commodities and GDP good on trucks are being allowed to cross. With an agreement that all drivers coming in quarantine and have covid 19 testing done. LT reporting is questionable. The know LT readers of the UPND and PF brand have psychological problems. Report entirely on a subject.

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  8. I think Zambia should just adopt the US style of govt where ‘governors’ have power their states as Lungu’s govt does not public health as a top priority you simply can not have Chilufya moving bus loads of technicians and lab assistants from one corner of the country to another and closing towns based on his own assumptions from Lusaka…DCs, MPs Provincial Health Officers and Provincial Ministers need to be empowered, Lungu is too weak and Chilufya is too corrupt and not credible.

  9. Common sense has lost and foolishness has lost on this one .It is all about lining their pockets with tax payers cash with these clueless ,careless and mindless scumbags .

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