Zimbabwe now part of Kazungula Bridge Project

Zambia and Botswana have agreed to allow Zimbabwe to join the Kazungula bridge project across the Zambezi river, in phase two of the works.

And the three countries have further agreed to set up a one-stop border post at Kazungula in Southern province.

The decision was made on Saturday, after President Edgar Lungu held talks with Botswana’s President, Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama and Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The decision has however been deemed ironic by economic experts as the overall impact of the Kazungula bridge project to Zimbabwe is reduced business because traffic will no longer pass through that country.

President Lungu has since directed the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to construct houses on the Zambian side to accommodate the border post workers.

Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, Ronald Chitotela disclosed this during a joint media briefing, held with the Ministers of Transport and Communications of Zimbabwe and Botswana.

The briefing was held after the private talks between President Lungu and his Zimbabwean and Botswana counterparts.

Mr. Chitotela explained that the one-stop border post project will be carried out during the second phase of the Kazungula project.

Once complete, the bridge will not only boost trade and commerce but further enhance the economic activities and prospects of other land-linked countries.

These are Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique

According to the Botswana government, the project will contribute to regional growth through increased traffic along the North South Corridor, reduced transit time from three days to half a day.

Also, the project will facilitate trade through reduced transit time for freight and passengers, reduced time based trade and transport cost as well as improved border management operations arising from one stop border facility.

Construction of the bridge between Zambia and Botswana which includes international border facilities in the two countries officially began on October 12, 2014 and is expected to be completed next year.

The handover of the US$259 million project to the two governments is expected in March 2019.

Prior to the start of the bridge's construction, there were fears of of the project being derailed as Zimbabwe, which did not participate in the initial project’s feasibility study, insisted on making its own assessment.

Quadri Point

The African "Qaudripoint" where Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia meet on the Zambezi river at Kazungula