The Cross Border Traders Association of Malawi has said it is impressed with the progress on the One- Stop-Border-Post at Mchinji Border.
Cross Border Traders Association of Malawi Chairperson Esther Chukambiri said, once completed, the project would help minimise delays experienced by traders at the border.
“We have been having a challenge of delays at the border.
“This will help in time management because we will be served at one place; no more delays at the border,” Chukambiri said.
A visit by Business Times to the facility at the weekend revealed that construction of the new structure is complete and that what remains is furnishing and installation of all necessary equipment to fully operationalise it.
Speaking on June 1 when Vice President Saulos Chilima and Trade Minister Sosten Gwengwe toured the facility, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Commissioner General John Biziwick said the objective of the One Stop Border Post is to facilitate legitimate trade by reducing time for processing of imports and exports between Malawi and Zambia.
Biziwick said the One Stop Border Post would streamline clearance processes thereby shortening the clearance time, reduce opportunities for illegal practices and improve service delivery.
On his part, Gwengwe said government would deploy all its security apparatus to directly deal with smuggling.
“I would like to appeal for more effective operations between the Police, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Immigration Services to end smuggling as this is both an economic challenge and a major security threat.
“We must end smuggling and we must end it now not later. I feel it is high time the government considered bringing in the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to assist all the mentioned bodied to quell the situation,” Gwengwe said.
On his part, Chilima said it is high time that all measures to halt smuggling are used jointly by security agencies, including bringing in MDF, while also effecting sustainable community engagement initiatives that enlighten citizens to be patriotic since smuggling robs the nation of resources that can be used for development.
The One Stop Border Post will also benefit other government agencies and private companies like banks, insurance companies, customs clearing agents, importers and exporters.