Friday, 01 July 2016 11:48

Suspended Uni-Visa facility to bounce back

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THE Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (Kaza) Uni-Visa between Zimbabwe and Zambia, which was suspended last year, is set to be re-introduced after the two neighbours agreed to revive it. The two Sadc countries are understood to be at an advanced stage of drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would lead the re-introduction of the “free trade” facility while offices of the Attorney Generals in the respective countries are working on the legal aspect of it.

This came out of a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in Victoria Falls on Tuesday to deliberate on challenges facing the tourism industry especially in the resort town. Chief Immigration Officer Clemence Masango said 50,000 stickers have already been sourced for the re-introduction of the Kaza Uni-Visa.

“The Uni-Visa was suspended in December 2015 because of two reasons whereby the two countries had run out of stickers and also after the expiry of the MoU. The two countries have been deliberating on whether to continue with the facility and mobilise funding for stickers,” said Masango.

He said stickers had already been dispatched to various centres where the facility should be implemented. “We are happy to report that we have managed to source 50,000 stickers and the only outstanding issue is the signing of MoU so that there is a legal standing to it.

“The two countries are addressing these issues at Cabinet level while Attorney General’s Office will advise on the developments,” added Masango. He said a similar process was underway in neighbouring Zambia.

The Uni-Visa was launched in 2014 after being mooted at the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) to ease movement between the two countries as a pilot projects towards a similar development in the Sadc region. The facility stopped last year owing to a number of reasons.

Meanwhile, the ZTA board led by its chairperson Chipo Mutasa, Ross Kennedy and ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke are on a fact finding mission in the resort town to hear concerns of the industry from operators.

Source: The Chronicle

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