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Engineer challenges mango ban directive

Engineer Charles Mukwaso has said the directive by the agriculture ministry to ban the movement of mangoes from Zambia into Namibia is akin to the agro-economic blockade called the redline.

Mukwaso said this when he responded to the letter written by the agriculture executive director Percy Misika dated 13 November 2019.

Misika’s letter was directed to the police to help monitor the movement of mangoes from Zambia into Namibia to prevent and control the spread of fruit fly diseases according to the Plant Quarantine Act (Act 7 of 2008).

“Namibia’s growing and thriving horticulture market is being threatened by an exotic Tephritid fruit fly pest and its presence have resulted in the suspension of fruit and vegetable exports from Namibia,” Misika’s letter addressed to the safety and security ministry executive director Trephine Panduleni Kamati said.

Misika further said that as a result, the ministry was limiting the movement of mango fruits from Zambia, which is coming from unknown places where pest risk analysis has never been carried out to declare pest-free areas.

He said it was because of this that the agriculture ministry was requesting the support of the police operating at roadblocks in the Zambezi and Kavango East to note that mango fruits from Zambia are restricted for trading up to Kongola area.

“The consignment must be accompanied by a valid original import permit upon arrival at the border post and permanent roadblocks,” Misika wrote.

On 26 November 2019, the police inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga ordered all regional commanders to enforce the Plant Quarantine Act, in what has come to be known as the Mango Operation.

Engineer Mukwaso, who is a resident of the Zambezi region, argues that Misika’s directive has a negative impact on families and businesses.

He also said that Misika’s directive implied that all mangoes are imported from Zambia since none of the fruits should be allowed beyond Kongola without a valid permit.

“The generalisation of your request assumes that these regions do not have mangoes of their own. I believe you know, as much as I do, that this is a million miles away from the truth., particularly in the Zambezi region,” he wrote.

Mukwaso also said that Misika assumes that Namibians and crops and plants in the region are immune to fruit fly disease your office diagnosed Zambian mangoes with.






Wonder Guchu

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