21 February 2013

Zambia: Over 75,000 Vehicles Imported Last Year

MORE than 75,000 motor vehicles were imported by Zambians through the Port of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania in 2012 compared to 25,000 for the previous year.

Tanzanian Transport Minister Harrison Mwakyembe said in an interview in Lusaka that the number of motor vehicles that were imported into Zambia through Dar-es-Salaam trebled in 2012 as compared to the 2011 figures.

This could be attributed to the cleaning process the Tanzanian government had embarked on in the last seven months.

Dr Mwakyembe said Dar-es-Salaam had continued to be Zambia's major entry point though the importers had in the past experienced problems of vandalism, a situation he said had frustrated importers.

"This situation has been going on for a long time now, but we are slowly cleaning up because of the process we have embarked on with the relevant authorities in Tanzania," Dr Mwakyembe said.

He advised Zambian importers against relying on people they did not know well as their agents, but should instead go through relevant authorities to verify their goods.

"My advice to Zambian importers is that they should stop using the people they do not know very well in the name of shipping agents. It is important to go through relevant authorities to avoid being swindled," he said.

He said if Zambians adhered to given instructions, then thefts would end and the situation at the port would improve further. There would be more imported goods passing through the Port into Zambia.

He said in 2011, 30 containers carrying various goods disappeared, but the number of containers going missing had since reduced because of the process the Tanzanian authorities had embarked on.

Dr Mwakembe said the board of directors had since been removed, in an effort to clean up the operations of the port so that importers could do their businesses in a conducive atmosphere.

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