Complaint

Complaint number
NTB-000-717  
NTB Type
8.6. Vehicle standards  
Complaint
Trucks from various countries including Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malawi origin transporting Maize bran legally with valid documentation and export permits issued by Zambian Dept of Agriculture were held at Kafue Weigh Bridge for almost a week, others longer than 3 weeks allegedly waiting for validation of export permits.

On 13 July permanent Secretary of Lusaka province arrived and Kafue bridge and after a short talk on maize smuggling to drivers ordered 31 of the trucks to be convoyed back to Lusaka to a military base under escort of military police to be impounded.

The drivers were told that upon arrival at the destination they were to take nothing from the trucks and leave. They were also told that where they were to sleep/reside was not the concern of the military personnel or authorities, it was their own problem.

At the military base the drivers manage to negotiate the removal of their clothing, blankets and personal effect , and were forced to hand over the keys to the vehicles and sign forms of impoundment.

This all for vehicles tranporting goods legally, all carrying clearing documentation legally processed by zambian clearing agents and valid legal permits issued by the Zambian Dept of Agriculture in Lusaka.

Subsequent to this another approximate 20 vehicles has experienced the same process.

Daily representations, discussions and meetings since then between various persons and organizations representing transporters and the office of the permanent Secretary of Lusaka yield no results or explanation for the impoundment of vehicles carrying legal documents, nor a date when the vehicles will be released.

Drivers are out on the streets, many with no suitable place to sleep. Some, out of desperation resorted to hitch-hiking back to their home countries.

Transporters are incurring heavy losses.

We urgently request that these trucks be released by the military and Zambian Authorities as this is costing the Transporters a lot of money in lost revenue and it is illegal for the Zambian Authorities and army to hold legally operated trucks.

The incident is also going to be escalated via the relevant countries' embassies/high commissions and Trade Authorities .  
Status note
On 17th November 2016, South Focal Point confirmed that the NTB had been resolved .  
Progress update note
During the 5th meeting of COMESA NTBs Focal Points, Zambia reported that the issue arose from suspected smuggling of maize. Where smuggling is suspected, the procedure is to impound the consignment including the vehicle/vessel transporting such consignment until investigations are over. The transporter should clarify whether the trucks are still being held or have been released. Meanwhile, consultations with relevant Government Authorities to provide more clarity on this issue areongoing.



The Focal Point for Zambia has reported telephonically, that he is contacting Ministry of Agriculture who are the responsible authorities and will advise status by end of day 22nd July 2016  
Policy or regulatory NTB
No 
Location
Zambia: military base (Government institution)  
Reporting Country or Region
South Africa  
Date of incident
2016-07-13  
Status
Resolved  
Date of resolution
2016-11-17  
Product Description
 
Total value
ZK1.00  
Date reported
2016-07-20 00:09  
Modified
2016-11-18 11:31