Pontoon goes missing in Kazungula
There has been panic today in
Kazungula, where Engineering Services Corporation (ESCO), immigration, police
and customs officers noticed that one of the three ferry pontoons went missing
early in the morning.
According to a police officer, who spoke on
conditions of anonymity, Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe was forced
to rush to Kazungula to check on the situation and by 16:00 hours the pontoon
had not yet been located.
“There is confusion amongst the ESCO workers as
there is counter-accusations of negligence among the officers who should have
made sure that the pontoon was safely and firmly secured after the workers
knocked off and the border post closed on Tuesday at 18:00 hours,” the officer
Efforts to contact the pontoon manager a Mr Mutapo
However, Munkombwe requested to be called after thirty minutes as
he was driving from Kazungula.
According to sources, the pontoon was
believed to have drifted eastwards by strong currents on the Zambezi
“The ESCO officers suspect that the pontoon drifted off in the
easterly direction towards the Victoria Falls and it is still not yet known were
it could have ended.
However, the ESCO officers have as at now rushed to
Katombora where they suspect that the vessel could have been stuck at the rapids
in that area,” the source said. “Others say that the pontoon could have been
stuck somewhere at Islands of Siankaba.”
In September 2008, then
communications minister Dora Siliya ordered that a third pontoon be provided for
Kazungula to assist decongest the traffic at the border after the pontoon broke
into two parts after an overloaded truck was allowed on it.