SADC Border Chaos – First Fatality

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Thursday, 21st September 2017

The situation at Machipanda Border Post between Zimbabwe and Mozambique has got out of hand with trucks queuing for over 10 km on the Mozambique side of the border.

This situation has been caused by the sudden implementation last week of the new Zimbabwe Statuary Instrument SI 113 of 2017, Amendment of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations, SI 154 of 2001, Section 60. The amendment requires that all vehicles are to be fitted with Customs seals, by the authorities and amendment is already causing considerable obstruction with vehicles being delayed for up to 72 hours waiting for seals.

Yesterday was a sad day for the Transport Industry when the queue at Machipanda claimed its first fatality, a child was driven over in the queue. The child was playing under a Tanker when it moved forward in the queue, a terrible situation leaving the driver of the truck traumatized.

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The tragedy is regrettable, but probably unavoidable under the circumstances. It will hopefully bring home to the Zimbabwean Authorities the dangers of staging large numbers of vehicles in uncontrolled areas with no security or facilities for extended periods of time. The drivers and others stuck in the queue for several days must cook, eat, and pollute, all of which contributes extreme danger to the   chaotic situation, with over 100 vehicles full of fuel, as well as fertiliser and more perishable cargoes.

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