Zimbabwe will expedite the establishment of the National Ports Authority to take over the management of its ports of entry and exit, a Cabinet minister has said.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said this was long overdue.
He made the remarks on Friday while responding to Beitbridge East Legislator Albert Nguluvhe who had raised concern over the state of affairs at Beitbridge Border Post.
Prof Ncube had visited the port of entry to familiarise with operations.
“As a ministry, we have noted the concerns from the local Member of National Assembly for Beitbridge East (Albert Nguluvhe) and I will engage other line ministers in Cabinet so that we operationalise the National Ports Authority,” he said.
“It is very critical that we have a responsible authority to coordinate border activities and address operational and administrative issues on the go.
“However, things could be even better with someone managing the affairs and coordinating issues under clearly defined roles.”
Prof Ncube said Zimbabwe’s ports, especially Beitbridge, played a key role in regional and international trade. Zimra collects an estimated $170 million at the border facility weekly.
According to Hon Nguluvhe, the state of affairs at the border was worrisome.
“The civil servants are doing well, but then we have people implementing many programmes without proper coordination and disgruntled people have nowhere to report to,” he said.
“We need to minimise unnecessary processes to attract more human and commercial traffic to the border to enhance revenue collections.
In 2014, Cabinet approved the establishment of the National Ports Authority (NPA) to coordinate operations and attending to teething challenges at the ports of entry.
However, five years down the line, the NPA is yet to see the light of day.
According to the proposal, the NPA will fall under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.
Some of the stakeholders at border posts include; Department of Immigration, Insurance companies, Zimra, security agencies, ministries of Health and Child Care, Environmental Management Authority, Forestry Commission, Veterinary and Agriculture services ,among others.