Tunduma border crisis ends

A LONG border crisis pitting trucks at the Tunduma border between Tanzania and Zambia has finally come to an end, thanks to ongoing government’s efforts.

on Sunday, a video clip made rounds on social media showing the situation has returned to normalcy with a voice of chairperson of the drivers’ association in southern zone, Mr Nuhu Mgodoka, cheering.

“The congestion here is over and the road was opened at around 5am … all vehicles have been cleared and allowed to cross the border and by yesterday all trucks passed here without any delay,” he pointed out.

Mr Mgodoka said the achievement was a result of taskforce formed by  regional (Songwe) authorities which used participatory approach by involving drivers among other key stakeholders to find best solution.

He called upon all truck drivers driving to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to resume their route, while appreciating all stakeholders for according cooperation in efforts to enhance movement at the border.

He said all truck drivers will now continue enjoying smooth operations at the border without unnecessarily spending days at the crossing points.

In a telephone interview with the ‘Daily News’, Songwe Regional Commissioner Dr Francis Michael noted that  the taskforce consisted of Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Regional Manager, Regional Traffic Officer, drivers as well as clearing and forwarding agencies.

“After a 24-hour joint operation with all stakeholders we have finally fixed the problems, we continue to work on improvement to make the border more friendly,” RC Dr Michael noted.

Tunduma is the transit and entry point in Tanzania linking transit trade toward the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In 2019, the then President Dr John Magufuli (the late)  and Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu (now the former) co-launched the Tunduma One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) located on the Tanzania-Zambia border.

The OSBP targeted on addressing challenges relating to crossborder clearance mainly due to duplication of handling procedures on either sides of the borders, poor institutional arrangement and cargo management systems, inadequate physical infrastructures and services and immigration management, although the border queues have been recurring.

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