via Mpofu, Zimra boss clash – DailyNews Live 26 June 2014 by John Kachembere
HARARE – Transport minister Obert Mpofu and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority commissioner-general Gershom Pasi are headed for a clash following the minister’s insistence on creating a Border Post Authority.
Mpofu’s ministry currently oversees over a dozen parastatals including the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara), the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED), the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) and Air Zimbabwe among others, which are under-performing and rocked by allegations of maladministration and corruption.
This week Mpofu indicated that his ministry was now in charge of all the country’s ports of entry following the creation of the Border Post Authority.
“Currently, it is not clear who is in charge of what, especially maintenance of entry points’ infrastructure,” Mpofu said.
“Therefore, the company will improve efficiency.
“People are ill-treated at entry points, especially at Beitbridge as there is no entity that is solely responsible for travellers.”
Pasi on Monday made a passionate plea before Parliament that government should shelve the idea of establishing a Ports Authority until it can afford to undertake such a project.
“There have been talks by government of creating a Ports Authority but it is not necessary at the moment because we will be creating additional expenditure,” Pasi said.
“Once you think of creating a Ports Authority, then you want to employ board, administration staff to maintain the ports and you want more money to make them functional.”
A Ports Authority is a government or quasi-government public authority formed by a legislative body to operate ports and other transportation infrastructure.
Most port authorities across the world are financially self-sustaining.
Pasi said Zimbabwe’s proposed Port Authority would not be able to support itself for many years after its inception.
Zimbabwe has 15 ports of entry which are being run by Zimra. However, the borders remain porous as travellers are faced with numerous challenges from corrupt officials to numerous clearing agents who cause confusion.
Beitbridge Border Post is the busiest inland port of entry in sub-Saharan Africa which handles more than 3 500 vehicles and 9 000 people crossing daily, with the numbers soaring to 20 000 during peak periods.
“Government should instead work on refurbishing Beitbridge Border Post to make it a one-stop border post so that we can have fast movement of goods and people,” Pasi said.