The Victoria Falls Border Post has been operating as a one-stop border post for the duration of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation while the two countries are working on a permanent arrangement. President Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart President Michael Sata signed a bilateral agreement establishing the one-stop border post on Sunday.
Last night, the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet and chairman of the Working Party of the UNTWO Inter-ministerial committee, Retired Colonel Christian Katsande, said the agreement was expected to speed up the movement of people and goods between the two countries for the duration of the general assembly.
|Fast facts about Victoria Falls Border Post:|
|Normal opening times||06:00 until 22:00|
|UNWTO opening times||24 hours|
|Complete border formalities on the opposite side of the Zambezi River||Travelling Southbound – Clear in Zimbabwe
Travelling Northbound – Clear in Zambia
|Number of one stop border posts in Zimbabwe||2 (including Vic Falls)|
“The One-stop Border Bilateral Agreement between Zambia and Zimbabwe is meant to expedite clearance and create a seamless border for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly.
“Other measures that have been put in place include 24-hour border operation, fast lane for UNWTO-accredited vehicles and waiver of statutory fees for the same vehicles.
“The Victoria Falls One-Stop border post initiative is a reflection of the continued strengthening of the political and economic ties that exist between the two countries.
“While the signed agreement is limited to the period covering the UNWTO conference, a permanent arrangement is under development,” he said.
Zimbabwe and Zambia are co-hosting the general assembly which started last Saturday the 24th.
Under the agreement, commercial traffic and travellers between the two countries will complete border formalities once, with south-bound traffic from Zambia driving straight to Zimbabwe for clearance by Zimbabwean customs while north-bound traffic will go to the Zambia side.
Border authorities from the two countries are performing joint controls and enforcement in one place.
Rtd Col Katsande said the one-stop border post would eliminate duplication of clearing processes and reduce drastically time taken to process both cargo and people.
“Time taken in the clearance process of both cargo and people have been reduced drastically as a result of having border formalities undertaken by border agencies of the respective nations being done concurrently, such as joint inspections for selected cargo shipment,” he said.
The Victoria Falls one-stop border post is the second in the country following the launch of the Chirundu one-stop border post in December 2009.
Date: 28 August 2013