SOME clearing agents in Nakonde yesterday protested against delays in processing their documents on the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) customs system known as ASYCUDA.
The protest resulted in an abrupt closure of the border.
Both Nakonde District Commissioner Charles Singoyi and ZRA corporate communications manager Mumbuna Kufekisa confirmed the incident yesterday.
Mr Singoyi said in an interview from Nakonde yesterday that the situation was volatile.
He said the protests were sparked by motor vehicle clearing agents who were angered by ZRA’s introduction of the new Asycuda entries.
Mr Singoyi said police in riot gear moved in to quash the protests as the angry rioters began destroying public property and motor vehicles.
“The situation here is bad. We cannot even address the rioters because they are so angry and they are destroying private and public property in the process,” he said.
“So I have alerted the Muchinga Province Minister Colonel Gerry Chanda and he is coming in the evening with the hope of addressing the agents tomorrow morning.”
Mr Kufekisa said in a statement that the delays were due to the perpetually unstable link with head office which resulted in making communication difficult.
“We are doing everything possible to address this challenge. Now the situation has returned to normal although the link is still not stable,” he said.
Mr Kufekisa said ZRA officers will work late to try and process the paperwork that has piled up.
Nakonde member of parliament Abel Sichula has appealed for calm, saying ZRA has no choice but to go ahead with the new system.
Mr Sichula told the Daily Mail that people were incensed by the delays caused by the problem in Lusaka.
Colonel Chanda said in an interview from Chinsali that he was on his way to Nakonde to address the situation.
“Let me call you this evening when I reach Nakonde and assess the situation,” he said.
Zambia Daily Mail