Modernised Beitbridge border post to promote regional integration, says President
By Justin Mahlahla
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the modernised Beitbridge Border Post, which is one of the signature projects of the Second Republic, will facilitate regional integration and promote the growth of the economies of sub-Saharan Africa.
He said this while commissioning the modernised Beitbridge Border Post in the border town this Wednesday afternoon.
“I am pleased to have an appreciation of the Beitbridge Border Post and am happy to have commissioned the project within two years of completion. This is one of the signature projects being implemented by the Second Republic.
“The scope of works of this project will undoubtedly see this port of entry facilitate the smooth discharge of the statutory functions of various stakeholders as well as result in a seamless link of our economy with other jurisdictions along the North-South corridor,” said the President.
He added, “As such, the project gives prominence to the shared aspirations for greater regional integration and cooperation, as outlined in the Regional Infrastructure Development Strategy. The high impact project will have far-reaching spin-offs for sustainable socio-economic development for the peoples and economies of our Southern Africa region.”
President Mnangagwa said following the modernisation project, a new Bridge that is under consideration will be constructed, adding that there is a need also to modernise the Chirundu border post.
“The modernised and upgraded sections of the border post are a testament to the efficacy of my Government’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” philosophy. It further resonates with the ongoing thrust of building the Zimbabwe we all want, brick by brick, stone upon stone,” he said.
President Mnangagwa applauded the private sector for partnering government in undertaking projects of national interest.
“The completed parts prove that success is indeed inevitable when Government and the private sector work together towards the development of a nation. I applaud the Zimborders Consortium, a Zimbabwe-led initiative, for executing this landmark project with diligence, dexterity, professionalism, and excellent workmanship.”
He pledged his administration’s commitment to continue unlocking innovative financial instruments and solutions to restore, develop and modernise seamless cost-effective national transboundary and infrastructure for the benefit of the people and economy.
The Beitbridge Border Post modernisation project brings with it an array of benefits for the country and the region as a whole, particularly through the facilitation of trade, investment, business travel, and tourism.
The ease of movement of goods and people in the SADC region through the port of entry will contribute significantly to the overall industrialisation agenda and economic growth of the region.
“From the Zimbabwean point of view, we will modernise all the border posts. Border posts are the face of our country,” he said.
Boarder posts must be treated more stringently than other cities because these are the face of the country, he said.
President Mnangagwa chastised local authorities which are shortchanging residents, saying councils must meet residents’ expectations.
“We need urban councils to deliver service to the people, clean water, collection of garbage. Every year residents must facelift their houses, and councils must not just be collecting rates and spend the money on conferences in Victoria Falls.”
President Mnangagwa advised that he had directed the responsible minister to identify a new and suitable place to build an airport since the aerodrome in Beitbridge is not suitable for a border town.