Govt warns business

October 21, 2021

TENDAI BHEBE IN BULAWAYO 

 

The  Bulawayo Provincial Development Coordinator, Paul Nyoni, has warned  Zimbabwean businesses  not to manipulate the privilege offered by Namibia to establish a dry port at Walvis Bay.

He said if the dry port  is made to good use, it would boost trade and bilateral relations between Zimbabwe, Namibia and other countries.

Nyoni, who spoke at the  information sharing session promoting the port of Walvis Bay as the preferred Logistics Hub to the Zimbabwean market on Monday  in Bulawayo, said Zimbabwean merchants should be careful not to mishandle the “courtesy and hospitality extended to us by the Republic of Namibia”.

“I, therefore, call upon the business community to be vigilant against nefarious activities such as smuggling, illicit trade in drugs, arms, human trafficking and other vices,” Nyoni said.

Recently, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission said the country is losing about US$2bn annually through illicit dealings by businesses.

Nyoni told the delegation from Namibia that its engagement with the southern region that includes Matabeleland North and South as well as Bulawayo Metropolitan will lead to tangible results as the business community in the country makes use of the Walvis Bay Port and the dry port in trading with other economies.

“The successful implementation of the dry port concept and the use of the Walvis Bay by Zimbabwe and the SADC region will have the effects of turning Walvis Bay Port into a regional logistical hub; increase continental trade, which is in line with the Vision 2030 and Vision 2063 creating the Africa we want.”

The dry port is managed by the National Services (Pvt) Ltd under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. The  dry port, based in Walvis Bay Namibia was inaugurated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in July 2019.

Before Zimbabwe was given access to the port of Walvis Bay, the country used to rely heavily on the Beira port in Mozambique as well as the Durban port in South Africa which are now heavily congested and there delays the movement of cargo and goods.

Namibia’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Nicklas Kandijii said: “Although Zimbabwe is considered as a landlocked country, with the establishment of the dry port facility as Walvis Bay, we have innovatively adhered to the AU principles. Zimbabwe is no longer landlocked but now will enjoy facilities at the Walvis Bay. This is a game changer. Zimbabwean businesses have now entered our trade route. It’s a gateway from the North to the South America and European markets. “

He said the dry port will also benefit other countries in the Sadc region as  transport corridors play a critical role in determining the competitiveness of exports which are a major source of foreign currency and a driving force for economic growth.

 

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