Minister of Defence, Ambrose Lufuma has called for immediate solutions to stop the rising cases of transnational organised crimes along the Zambia-Tanzania border line.
Speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the official opening of the inaugural Zambia-Tanzania Joint Permanent Commission Ministerial meeting in Lusaka, Mr Lufuma said transnational organized crimes such as human trafficking, and illegal migration have increased in the recent past.
He said other vices such as smuggling, drug trafficking, poaching and illegal trade in wildlife are also on the rise and demanding for an urgent solution to curb the vices.
ZANIS reports that Mr Lufuma said Zambia recently experienced a tragic and heinous incident, where bodies of foreign victims of human trafficking were dumped after they suffocated to death while in transit.
Mr Lufuma said that the incident brought to the fore, the brutality and sophistication of organised transnational crime.
He said it is worth noting that most of the foreign nationals are from Africa and enter Zambia using undesignated crossing points on the Zambia-Tanzania border line.
“I therefore, wish to urge this commission to formulate strategies to curb the increasing cases of human trafficking,” said Mr. Lufuma.
Mr Lufuma added that as a country, Zambia is alive to the fact that instability anywhere is instability everywhere.
The Defence Minister added that Zambia is committed to promoting pan African interests by working with its neighbours to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner.
And Mr Lufuma has called on the Zambia Tanzania Joint Permanent Commission to contribute effectively towards the realisation of common economic interests for the benefit of the two countries.
He said there is need for enhanced liaison at various levels of cooperation in order for the two countries to effectively realise their common economic interests.
Mr Lufuma further acknowledged the cordial bilateral relations, which Zambia and Tanzania have continued to enjoy from pre-independence days.
“Indeed, our late founding fathers, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda and Dr. Julius Nyerere, former presidents of Zambia and Tanzania, respectively, left an indelible legacy exemplified by among other landmarks joint ventures, the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta Pipeline and Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA),” said Mr. Lufuma.
And Tanzania Defence and National Service Minister, Innocent Bashungwa said his country is happy that the first Commission between Zambia and Tanzania, has finally taken off.
Mr Bashungwa said Tanzania is committed to enhancing this cooperation and taking it to the next level.
He also commended governments of both Zambia and Tanzania for their efforts to accommodate and consolidate their highly valued bilateral cooperation.
The Zambia Tanzania Joint Permanent Commission is being attended by Senior Government officials as well as Defence and Security chiefs from both countries.