-Nakonde/Tunduma border reopened

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Nakonde/Tunduma border reopened

From Jonathan Mukuka in Tunduma, Tanzania

Tunduma, April 4, 2013, ZANIS…The Nakonde  / Tunduma border post connecting Zambia to Tanzania in Muchinga Province has re-opened for business following a temporal closure yesterday .

The border post is one of the busiest in the country and its temporal closure followed fierce fighting between Christians and the Muslims on the Tanzanian side embroiled in ritual accusations involving cattle.

Both Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Assistant Commissioner for Nakonde Anold Nkhoma and Nakonde district commissioners James Singoyi have confirmed the development in separate interviews with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS).

Mr. Singoyi, who crossed into Tunduma this morning to check on the obtaining situation, said both the entry and exit gates at the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) have re-opened.

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has also re-opened its exit gate which leads into Tunduma.

However, though the gates at both Zambia and Tanzania have been re-opened, only small vehicles have so far started crossing into Zambia and leaving Zambia for Tanzania.

Trucks and tankers have not yet started rolling to either sides of the border.

And ZRA Assistant Commissioner Anold Nkhoma told ZANIS that business has come back to normal although the flow of traffic from Tanzania is slow.

Mr. Nkhoma said Tanzanian authorities appear not ready to commence work this morning and have indicated that they will only start releasing trucks and tankers later in the afternoon.

A snap survey by ZANIS at Tunduma further revealed that no shops have re-opened after the sudden closure yesterday morning following a fierce fight between Christians and  Muslims.

Most of the Zambian cross border traders who arrived at Tunduma this morning to buy various goods and other merchandise are stranded as shops remain closed.

The snap survey also revealed that one Mosque has been burnt down at the new Tunduma market while two others have had their windows shattered and part of the roof ripped off.

Most of the roads at Tunduma are full of people moving about aimlessly while armed police officers in patrol vehicles continue to keep vigil.

Nakonde, one of the busiest borders,  was yesterday temporarily closed after a fierce fight erupted between Christians and Muslims.

The Chritsians accused the Muslims that when they slaughter cattle, they allegedly subject them to rituals.

The Christians are demanding that they should be allowed to slaugher the animals which are later taken to various butcheries and other retail outlets at the border for sell to customers.