– The Herald
THE Government has with immediate effect reviewed the geo-fenced routes used by commercial trucks transiting through Zimbabwe to countries north of the Zambezi River.
It is understood that the move is meant to minimise issues of transit fraud that are likely to arise following the closure of the Victoria Falls and the opening of the Kazungula route.
Transit fraud occurs when transporters/importers declare to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) that they are transporting goods to another country but later offload within Zimbabwe.
The practice is common especially where the importation of controlled or prohibited goods is concerned.
Annually, the country is losing millions of dollars in potential import duty emanating from transit fraud.
The new routes, which will also limit access of commercial trucks through major towns where transit fraud usually happens, are contained in Statutory Instrument 124 of 2021 , Customs and Excise (Ports of Entry Routes), order number 2021 (no 22).
Those truckers found violating the protocols of the new geo-fenced routes or off route will be subjected to pay a fine of Us$2 000.
“ . . . no heavy vehicle transiting through Zimbabwe whether loaded or empty or fitted with an electronic cargo tracker shall be allowed to use any route not designated under section 23A of this SI or enter into any residential area of any town or city except if it is part of the prescribed route.
In addition, they should not pass through any central business district of any town or city . . . any transporter found in violations of the above shall be liable to paying a fine of Us$2 000,”
reads part of the statutory instrument.
According to the new law, the transit trucks are expected to park only at designated truck stops along the 20 prescribed routes.
Under Route 1 (Beitbridge Harare and Chirundu) , the truckers are expected to go via Mwenezi, Ngundu, Masvingo, Mvuma, Chivhu, Harare, Mapinga, Banket Chinhoyi, Karoi , Morongora , Makuti and Chirundu.
Those using Route 5 (Beitbridge to Nyamapanda) should travell from Beitbridge, Mwenezi, Ngundu, Masvingo, Mvuma, Chivhu, Harare, Shamva Turn Off , Mutoko then Nyamapanda Border Post.
“Route 6 (Beitbridge to Victoria Falls), will go through Makhado, West Nicholson, Collen Bawn, Gwanda ,Mbalabala, Esigodini, Bulawayo, Nyamandlovu, Lupane , Hwange and Victoria Falls Border Post.
In addition, Route 7 is Chirundu, Harare to Beitbridge and Route 10 is from Chirundu to Forbes Border Post which will go through Makuti, Karoi, Chinhoyi, Harare, Masasa, Ruwa, Bromley, Marondera, Headlands, Rusape, Nyazura, Odzi , Christmas Pass and Forbes Border Post and the trucks will use the same way under Route 13 from Forbes to Chirundu,”
said the Government in the SI.
Transit trucks using Route 14 from Forbes to Nyamapanda will go through Beira Road, Bvumba Road, Simon Mazorodze, Christmas Pass, Odzi, Nyazura, Rusape, Half Mile, Headlands, Marondera, Bromley, Masasa, Glenara Road, Enterprise Road, Shamva Turn Off, Mutoko and Nyamapanda and follow the opposite path under Route 18 from Nyamapanda to Forbes.
Under Route 17 from Nyamapanda to Beitbridge, the trucks will follow the opposite of Route 5.
Those travelling from Plumtree to Nyamapanda will go through Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Kadoma, Chegutu, Norton ,Harare, Shamva turn off, Mtoko and Nyamapamda under Route 20 and follow the opposite from Nyamapanda to Plumtree under Route 19.