Most of the imports which pass through Katima Mulilo border are fish, offals, chickens and beef from Europe, China and Brazil, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has said.
And Finance Deputy Minister Christopher Mvunga has said it was surprising
that Zambia was still importing fish and beef from Europe through Namibia despite having enough animals in Southern Province.
ZRA Katima Mulilo border Station Manager Collins Sichivula told the minister and journalists that the demand for fish was too high and that most of it goes to Lusaka and Copperbelt.
Mr. Sichavula said that clearing of vehicles at the border post had reduced in this year as compared to the last year.
He said that in 2015, the institution used to clear more than 40 vehicles per month but that the situation had reduced to about 20 to 30 vehicles in a month resulting in a reduction.
In 2013, Zambia was reported of importing between 4,626 and 16, 077 tonnes of fish annually from Namibia.
And some of the fish is usually smuggled in the night due to the nature of the border post which ZRA said it is very porous.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mvunga said it was surprising that Zambian import fish, offals, chickens and beef.
Mr. Mvunga wondered whether or not Southern province cannot manage to produce enough beef and feed the nation.
He said President Lungu’s management and government’s policy on food production was that the country should be self-sufficient without importing some of the products which could be produced locally.
Mr Mvunga said that there was need to grow the livestock and fisheries industry to avoid the importation of products such as fish, offals, chicken and beef.
“The president’s massage when he was opening parliament was very clear. We need to grow the industry and stop the importation of products such as beef, fish and chickens. The country must be self-sufficient and the policy is there,” he said.