By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE cannot be said to be ‘open for business’ when border towns that are supposed to facilitate the smooth flow of goods and services like Beitbridge are ‘dead’, MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, said.
He said this while addressing an Alliance rally (weekend) in Beitbridge and in reference to president Emmeerson Mnangagwa ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ catchphrase.
Beitbridge which is on the Zimbabwe -South Africa border is the busiest border post in the region and beyond as it is the gateway to goods and services in and out of most of Sub-Sharan Africa.
“Mnangagwa is going around the world preaching that the country is open for business when in reality border towns are closed for business,” said Chamisa.
He added, “I am shocked to see that the busiest border town is dead, closed; hotels and offices; clearing agents are operating from cars. This town used to be an envy of all visitors, but now it is dead.”
Chamisa said it was sad to see unemployed youths roaming the streets of the border town because most of the industries there have closed shop because of the Zanu PF regime’s misrule.
“The remaining few shipping and clearing agents are told to run up and down with papers to facilitate the clearing of goods; honestly in this 21st century?” said the MDC Alliance presidential candidate in wonderment.
“I am told here that trucks spend not less than five hours queuing to be cleared by Customs and Immigration; is that how a country is open for business?”
“But once the MDC Alliance is in power, give us less than a month, I am going to introduce e-government which the Mnangagwa administration is not able to do because they view internet as a regime change agenda,” he said
Chamisa added, “I will address border challenges in one week and promote ease of doing business and this will create the much needed employment.”
“For the past 20 years when its election time, Zanu PF leaders bombarded citizens with claims on how this road will be rehabilitated for the smooth flow of traffic.”
“But once elections are over that will be the last you will hear from them, until after five years.”
“So how long will they keep taking you for granted? I will introduce spaghetti roads an idea that they are laughing at.”
Chamisa went on to say that 2018 was just like 1980 and if the MDC Alliance wins they will deliver “independence” to Zimbabweans who have been marginalised for too long and will devolve power and authority.
“Beitbridge town should have its own home affairs office and be able to issue passports and not that 38 years after independence, citizens go to Gwanda, Bulawayo or Harare to apply for passports,” he said.