Katima Mulilo-The Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu and Zambia’s Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu, who recently visited the Zambezi Region, are in agreement that the operational time at Wenela border in the Zambezi Region should be extended to 22h00 to accommodate increased traffic.
Currently the border operates from 06h00 to 18h00 and the two senior officials concurred that if the operational hours of Wenela were extended it would be beneficial for the two countries. The two made the call during the Zambian provincial minister’s two-day visit to the Zambezi Region last week.
“I will consult the minister of home affairs and finance, but I don’t think this will be a problem. We already have other borders that are operating up to 22h00. If we can’t go up to 22h00 for a start we can go up to 20h00 and as time goes by we can extend,” Mubukwanu suggested.
Mubukwanu also added that the Wenela border post is one of the busiest border and extending operational hours will benefit other countries whose nationals use this busy border post.
“It will not only be beneficial for the two countries. Because of the Walvis Bay corridors we have trucks going as far as Congo and the amount of hours spent on the border will be eliminated,” he added.
Sampofu noted that the Wenela border post was one of the busiest in the country, adding that he has a scheduled meeting with Minister of Home Affairs Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana this week and this issue would form part of the deliberations.
“This has been our idea all along. We want to extend [opening hours] because of the volume of trucks and it will also be good for the goods moving in and out of the country,” Sampofu said.
During his visit to the Zambezi Region the provincial minister visited various projects in the region, including the Kalimbeza Rice Project. He said there is a lot of potential for the two regions to partner in various projects, particularly in agriculture.