End of road for 250 impounded trucks?

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
THE over 250 trucks laden with mukula logs are marooned at various border points awaiting Government’s decision on the way forward.
Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) commissioner-general Kingsley Chanda said in Livingstone yesterday that following President Lungu’s signing of a statutory instrument (SI) to bar the transiting of mukula logs through Zambia, the authority will continue impounding any trucks ferrying the endangered tree species.
“Government will have to decide on how it will dispose of the mukula logs. From February to today, we have continued impounding all trucks carrying mukula logs,” he said.
Mr Chanda said over 200 trucks carrying mukula logs have been impounded at Nakonde and Kasumbelesa border posts while others have been seized in Southern and Western provinces.
He said ZRA has held eight trucks in Kafue, five in Kalomo, eight in Batoka, nine in Sesheke, two in Kazungula and 17 in Livingstone.
Mr Chanda said some of the confiscated mukula logs are purported to have been imported from the Democratic Republic of Congo and are transiting through Zambia.
“As ZRA, we have decided to hold up all the trucks until investigations are concluded,” he said.
Meanwhile, ZRA is undertaking a pilot project of establishing a one-stop border post at Nakonde border, which started on February 1 this year.
Mr Chanda said Government is also negotiating for a one-stop border arrangement with Zimbabwe on the Victoria Falls border.
He said Government has put in place legislative measures that allow for establishment of one-stop border facilities with neighbouring countries.
“Government is also in discussions with Botswana. The project scope of the Kazungula Bridge being constructed to replace the ferry also includes a one-stop border post,” he said.
Mr Chanda said the Kazungula one-stop border facility will become operational when construction of the bridge, to link Zambia and Botswana across the Zambezi River, is completed in 2019.

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