Zambia and Tanzania have signed a bilateral agreement to improve service delivery and allow smooth flow of business transactions at the Nakonde / Tunduma border.
The agreement which was initiated through the Muchinga Provincial administration of Zambia and Songwe regional administration of Tanzania to allow a smooth flow of operations at the border by reverting to the old system of transporting in transit vehicles from Dar -es-salaam port.
Mr Sikazwe signed on behalf of the Muchinga provincial administration while Songwe Regional Commissioner , Omary Mugumba, signed on behalf of that administration and both agreed that the Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) signed in December 2020 , created hatred between the two driver associations of Zambia and Tanzania and would have potentially affected relations.
The agreement has thus replaced an MOU that was signed on December 11, 2020 that was said to be unfair and favoured more the Tanzanian drivers than their Zambian counterparts.
This now means that all restrictions that were imposed on Zambian drivers of not entering Tanzania have ended and Zambians, like their Tanzanian counterparts, can now transport imported vehicles to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other destinations.
The December 11, 2020 agreement was to be reviewed after 4 months but authorities in both countries failed due to administrative changes in Tanzania and later change of government in Zambia
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Muchinga Province Minister Henry Sikazwe warned that government will not allow cadres to disrupt the smooth operations at the Nakonde / Tunduma border.
Mr Sikazwe observed that disruption of operations at the border affects the collection of revenue for the two countries.
He said the new dawn administration has resolved to stop cadres from interfering with operations of government in any sector.
He also condemned the behaviour of the Nakonde driver’s association that allegedly wrote a letter threatening to behead any Tanzanian that would be seen or found transporting vehicles through the Nakonde border.
“The new dawn administration will not condone cadreism,” stated Mr Sikazwe.
And Songwe Regional Commissioner Omary Mugumba said Zambia and Tanzania have enjoyed peace for many years and that and no one should be allowed to propagate spirit of enmity.
Mr Mugumba also said owners of vehicles should be free to choose who drives their newly imported vehicle to any destination without any discrimination.
“We need to promote the peace and love that the two peoples have enjoyed for many years and we should allow owners of vehicles to decide who to drive their vehicles to any destination without discrimination,” said Mr Mugumba.
And in a related development, Tanzanian IT Drivers chairperson Ali Liziki has welcomed the newly signed bilateral agreement which he said will cement the relationship between the people of Zambia and Tanzania.
ZANIS reports that the meeting was also attended by Nakonde District Commissioner Marvellous Sikapizye and his Momba counterpart from Tanzania, Fakih Lulabdala, Songwe Regional administrative officer missaile Musa , while other present where heads of revenue authority in both Zambia and Tanzania as well as senior security officers from both countries.