THE business community in Chimanimani has called for the speedy re-opening and upgrading of Cashel Border Post to help decongest Forbes Border Post and create a shorter route for traders crossing to Beira from South Africa.
The re-opening and upgrading of Cashel Border Post will go a long way in turning Chimanimani into an economic hub ready for exporting its products.
The business gurus called on Government to consider the downstream benefits to be brought in by the reopening of the border post, which ceased operations sometime in 2000.
Newly elected House of Assembly representative for Chimanimani East, Cde Joshua Sacco said he has already apprised Government on the urgent need to reopen the once vibrant point through the office of Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa.
“There is need to widen the road, which is about seven kilometres and making sure that there is enough water at the border post,” he said.
“The good thing is that personnel from the immigration departments are already at the border post and what is left is to have customs authorities. I am very sure that the post was mentioned among the border posts that Government plans to revamp but what we are lobbying for is to have it done urgently, as there are a lot of downstrean benefits that come with the opening of that post,” he said.
Cde Sacco said they had plans to apply for Special Economic Zone status for Chimanimani once the Border Post had been revamped.
He said there was a lot of agri-business and a viable tourism industry, which if marketed well would turn the area into a serious economic hub.
“The District Development Fund (DDF) is busy resuscitating the Cashel Valley irrigation project and we all know that there was a canning there. Through value addition and beneficiation initiatives we will be able to export our products,” he said.