By Tapiwa Machemedze
ZIMBABWE and Zambia trade via Kanyemba, Mbire district is set to improve following installation of a pontoon on the Zambezi river.
Once operational the pontoon installed on the Zambezi river will ease access between Kanyemba in Mbire district and Luangwa on the Zambian side by enabling heavy cargo and haulage trucks across the river which is currently only accessible by boat.
In an update to Mbire District Development Coordinator, Richard Maruta, Luangwa District Commissioner Julius Sikasote confirmed installation and testing of the pontoon adding his office will soon request a landing permit to allow the pontoon to dock on the Zimbabwean side.
Economic Analyst Conwell Muzhanye said authorities should now fast track construction of the Mahuwe Kanyemba road.
‘This is a landmark development as our government is positioning Kanyemba as a regional trade hub. To compliment the pontoon installed by Zambia our government should speed up construction of the Mahuwe Kanyemba highway since 140 kilometres of dust road is not conducive for trade.
More speed is also required for Kanyemba to meet the target of a City status by 2023.
While Zimbabwe completed construction of its landing bay last year, Zambia has since requested its Engineering Service Co-operation to upgrade its own landing bay.
Experts say once the planned supporting infrastructure is in place Kanyemba which has been primed as a regional logistic hub will cut short the distance to Central Africa by as much as 650 kilometres compared to Chirundu and Kariba routes.