Zimbabwe Computer Failure Leaves Cargoes Stranded at Border

Cargoes traveling to or transiting through Zimbabwe were left stranded for five days at border crossings after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s computers failed, the agency said.

The Automated Systems for Customs Data World Network crashed while it was being updated, the authority known as Zimra, said on Friday in an e-mailed statement.

“Alternative measures are being put in place at all ports of entry and exit to facilitate smooth movement of cargo and reduce inconvenience,” it said in the statement.

About 15,000 heavy trucks carrying as much as 40 metric tons each move into Zimbabwe from South Africa at Beitbridge crossing, southern Africa’s biggest, every month, according to Zimra. Zimbabwe also shares borders with Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, while heavy haulers traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi also pass through the country.

“The situation hasn’t improved since last Sunday and Zimra officials are just looking at the trucks parked outside their offices,” William Gobvu, operations manager at Harare-based CKD Clearing Co., said in a telephone interview Friday. “They caused this problem by changing their system to a new platform which constantly breaks down.”

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