Kongola checkpoint a necessity – Shilelo

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Kongola checkpoint a necessity – Shilelo

Marythar Kambinda


Katima Mulilo – Nampol’s Zambezi regional commander Andreas Shilelo said the searches at the Kongola checkpoint are only to ensure that no one passes through with any contraband.

He was responding to the ongoing social media buzz, whereby members of the police have been accused of harassing commuters, especially those travelling by bus by asking for their proof of identification, and searching through their personal luggage.

“There are mixed feelings from our commuters when they are passing the Kongola checkpoint. They are alleging that they are going through cruel emotional torture, as they do not know why their luggage has to be searched,” said Shilelo.

 “We do not want to kill our market with contraband or with fake products as well as businesses that are not legal. That is one of the reasons why we are protecting our business people,” he stated.

Shilelo also clarified that the searches are decent, and require permission from the owner of the luggage in order to search. “If he or she does not want the luggage to be searched, we take it further, until we make sure that we establish safety,” he elucidated.

He said Zambezi is geographically located, bordering four countries and providing easy access to other African countries. “As such, most of our visitors are coming from those countries, and some of them come with goods that are not allowed in this country.”

Searches are for the community’s safety, as well as the safety of others travelling with them.

The top officer asked for cooperation and patience from commuters as due to a lack of manpower, travellers are sometimes kept at checkpoints longer than needed.

“We are trying our best so that we provide safety services to our people so that we make sure that we do not allow any contraband to access our mainland,” he continued.