Minister of Finance Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane yesterday visited Kazungula one-stop border post to check on operations.
In his tour, Dr. Musokotwane advised Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) at the border to normalize economic activities so that local people can equally benefit from the benefits of having the bridge in the district.
This was after Kazungula council Chairperson Ms. Mbozi Tatila requested for government’s intervention following the systematic barring of locals from benefiting from economic activities that came with the opening of the bridge in May 2021.
All economic activities have been locked inside the new border with few monopolistic companies from outside the district. Insurance, clearing agents, mobile money service providers, restaurants, car wash businesses have all been affected because the border is now a One-stop border post and has restricted business inside the border to one business type in the aforementioned different sectors.
Ms. Tatila suggested that it’s illegal to monopolize the business. The free-market policy that was introduced in 1991 should allow businesses to compete.
The Finance minister advised that an open trading area should be identified by the Council outside the border facility to allow everyone to trade.
Currently, as it stands no locals are allowed to carry out their business activities inside the border.
Ms. Mbozi Tatila added that the Monopolistic trade tendencies on the border have also affected the council restaurant thereby affecting revenue.
A meeting to normalize business activities at the border between ZRA and the council has been called upon.
It is in this meeting where the Council Chairperson hopes that ZRA will provide space for the Council to have an office so that levies are properly collected, unlike the current situation where the Council has no office in the border but operates under an umbrella at the Entry and Exit point.
“The rainy season has come and I shudder to imagine how efficient we will be operating as Council while collecting levies from truckers in the rain.” She added.
This was contained in a short briefing before the minister left for Lusaka after his tour.