Border chaos claims child’s life
Mike Fitzmaurice, CEO of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta) comments that the situation at Machipanda border post, between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, is out of control and has now claimed a life.
“Yesterday was a sad day for the transport industry when the queue at Machipanda claimed its first fatality; a child was driven over by one of the queuing tankers. The child was playing under a tanker when it moved forward in the queue. This terrible situation has left the driver of the truck traumatised.
“Trucks are queuing for more than ten kilometres on the Mozambique side of the border. More than 100 vehicles are full of cargo such as fuel, fertiliser and perishable goods.
“This situation has been caused by the sudden implementation last week of the new Zimbabwe Statuary Instrument SI 113 of 2017, Amendment of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations, SI 154 of 2001, Section 60.
“The amendment requires that all vehicles are to be fitted with customs seals by the authorities. This amendment is already causing considerable obstruction, with vehicles being delayed for up to 72 hours while waiting for seals.
“The tragedy is regrettable, but was probably unavoidable under the circumstances. It will hopefully bring home to the Zimbabwean authorities the dangers of delaying large numbers of vehicles, in uncontrolled areas with no security or facilities, for extended periods of time.
“The drivers and others stuck in the queue for several days must cook, eat and pollute – all of which contribute extreme danger to the already chaotic situation.”