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Cross-border food smuggling a challenge

2023-10-25  Albertina Nakale

Cross-border food smuggling a challenge

KATIMA MULILO - The police in Zambezi region continue to confiscate illegal goods smuggled into Namibia from neighbouring Zambia via ungazetted entry points.

Zambezi police spokesperson, Inspector Kisco Sitali told New Era that smuggling of illegal goods remains a challenge as some people do not want border permits.

“People are crossing illegally. They smuggle in food items and clothing such as ‘chitenge’. They also smuggle in hand-made chairs, sticks, maize, peanuts, potatoes, and beans that come from the Zambian side,” he said.

Equally, Sitali said, people smuggle fuel, beverages, food items, cooking oil, and flour to Zambia.

“We advise people to use gazetted entry points such as Katima Mulilo border post. They can also approach the authorities to alert them, and they can get advice on which items are allowed to enter Namibia,” he notified. 

Sitali said many residents in Zambezi lost their vehicles as they were found loading illegal goods. 

“Those cars do not belong to the drivers. The owners lose their cars to the State. We urge vehicle owners to vet those drivers before they give them cars to transport,” he advised. 

On illegal fishing, Sitali said the police continue to do regular patrols alongside the rivers. However, he indicated there are challenges in patrolling the river from Katima Mulilo to Impalila stretching over 100km.

According to him, the river becomes shallow which causes officers to get stuck while on patrol.

Further, he highlighted the dangers involved while on patrol as they encounter dangerous and territorial animals such as hippos and crocodiles.

He expressed gratitude towards the Zambian government for having halted the factory that used to produce monofilament fishing nets.

This means that the government has banned the use of monofilament fishing nets by fishermen because they are made of plastics, and they don’t rot. Such type of fishing nets also depletes fish resources compared to the allowed cotton fishing nets. 

“The Zambian government destroyed that factory that used to manufacture monofilament fishing nets. It was a challenge as we were fighting but the manufacturing of the nets was ongoing. We are thankful it was halted,” Sitali stated. 


2023-10-25  Albertina Nakale

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