ZIMBABWE owes Botswana US$800 000 for vaccines supplied by its neighbour to help control the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) two years ago. While Gaborone had previously provided Harare with FMD vaccines for free, there was a consignment worth US$800 000 which had to be paid for.
Because of the prevailing cash crisis, Zimbabwe has been unable to pay for the consignment. This was revealed by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Paddy Zhanda.
“The first round of vaccinations should have been done last month, but there is no money and we also owe Bostwana US$800 000 for vaccines provided two years ago,” he said.
Zimbabwe is yet to begin its vaccination programme for FMD, with lack of funding emerging as the biggest hindrance.
Backyard filling stations have sprouted in Bulawayo and are being supplied cheaper fuel by enterprising locals that are smuggling the fuel from Botswana. Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city is just 100km from Plumtree border which divides Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Locals are taking advantage of the cheaper fuel in Botswana and are smuggling it through the porous Plumtree border post and some undesignated entry points.
Most motorists now prefer the cheaper fuel being sold at the backyard filling stations despite the risk of buying contaminated fuel.
A fuel dealer said yesterday that he was buying unleaded petrol at $0.75 a litre in Botswana against an average of $1.35 being charged by local filling stations for blended fuel. The Botswana Pula is trading at 1 to 9 against the Dollar.
The backyard fuel stations are charging as little as $1,10 per litre for unleaded petrol depending on the quantity a client demands.
BOTSWANA has introduced the Tourism Development Levy (TDL) despite resistance from the Hospitality and Tourism Association that resulted in its withdrawal last year.
The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, through the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) last week announced that it was introducing the levy to raise funds for conservation and national tourism development.
Effective June this year, all non-Sadc visitors entering Botswana will be required to pay $30 tourism levy at the point of entry.
“The levy is purposed to support the growth of the industry and broaden the tourism base, resultantly improving the lives of the people of Botswana,” BTO said in a statement.
The Tourism Statistics Annual Report for 2015 shows that from the 1,661 million visitors who entered Botswana in that year, 11.4 percent (190 000) were from non-Sadc countries.
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