Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has admitted there are too many unnecessary roadblocks on both Zambia and Malawi roads, advising that the two countries need to do away with them as one way of speeding up the movement of traffic from the border.
Hichilema said on Wednesday when he, alongside his counterpart President Lazarus Chakwera, officially commissioned the Mchinji-Mwami One Stop Border Post.
Hichilema said: “The other problem Mr. President [Chakwera] is that we have too many roadblocks that are slowing the movement of these trucks. Yes, we need them for security; but I think we can still be safe even without them.
“The Homeland Affairs of Malawi and Zambia must meet quickly and make sure we do away with these unnecessary roadblocks. I cannot direct your cabinet minister, but I am asking, through you, that they should meet and sort this issue once and for all.”
According to him, the two ministers’ solutions and measures should, however, not compromise the security of the two countries.
Hichilema, popularly referred to as HH by his supporters, earlier described the border post as “an important milestone in the development of Zambia and Malawi.”
Speaking earlier, President Chakwera said the facility is critical to realising the country’s aspirations as enshrined in Malawi 2063 where trade and industrialization are one of the key pillars.
“It simplifies and boosts trade relations between the two countries and is a milestone in a quest to accelerate development in the two nations,” said Chakwera.
African Development Bank (AfDB) Country Manager for Zambia(one of the financiers of the project), Raubil Durowoju, who spoke on behalf of the Bank’s president, said the project seeks to open landlocked countries like Malawi to trade.
“The bank will continue to provide support in Africa and Southern Africa to develop transport and trade for economic transformation,” said Durowoju.
Durowoju has since appealed to the two countries to prioritise maintenance of the facilities.
Similar one-stop border posts are being constructed in Dedza, Mwanza, Machinga, Mulanje, Mangochi, and Karonga.
The One Stop Border Post has been constructed with funding from the AfDB, European Union, COMESA, and the World Bank among others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :