Zimbabwe decries smuggling of banned goods

HARARE: Various basic commodities that are subject to an import ban continue to be smuggled into the local market, he said.
In June this year, Zimbabwe imposed an import ban on several basic goods, most of which come through via South Africa, to protect the ailing manufacturing industry.
Goods prohibited from entering the country include bottled water, furniture, building materials, steel products, cereals, potato crisps and dairy products. The government argues that these products are adequately produced in the local market.
Addressing a press conference to announce a committee to monitor and evaluate the impact of the import ban effected through Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, Minister Bimha admitted that there was rampant smuggling of the banned products, and blamed some customs officials for fuelling the smuggling.
The minister complained that the country’s borders were porous hence the rampant smuggling of goods.
The government, the minister said, was therefore working on tightening border controls by adopting use of modern technology as a way to curb smuggling.
The controversial import ban has been questioned by neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Zambia, and led scores of Zimbabweans and South Africans to launch a massive protest against it at Beitbridge Border Post in July.
Most unemployed Zimbabweans eke out a living through buying goods in South Africa for resale in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe government has said the ban may last for three years.