Kazungula Bridge is a rail and road bridge spanning the Zambezi River, the bridge straddles the North-South trade route, which runs from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the port of Durban.
Kazungula has a one-stop border facility located near the quadripoint that links Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The bridge was commissioned by Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi on 10 May 2021.
During construction inhabitants of Lumbo Village were moved.
Kazungula Bridge is owned by Zambia and Botswana. In May 2021, the two countries agreed in principle to incorporate Zimbabwe into the Kazungula bridge spanning the Zambezi River, and the one-stop border post linking the two countries.
Initially, the late former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe was against the bridge construction because Botswana and Zambia do not share a land border.
The sentiment was the same during the colonial era when Rhodesia and South Africa, which administered South-West Africa (Namibia), declared the route illegal.
As a result of Mugabe's stance, Kazungula bridge was reportedly designed to curve away from Zimbabwe, so as not to encroach on its territory.
On May 10, 2021, Zimbabwe announced that it would join in Kazungula bridge’s last phase and offered to pay a third of the $259.3m project.
Kazungula Bridge was designed as an extra-dosed road-rail bridge configuration with middle deck sections of 129m, and 4 piers in the river. It also has a 3 kilometre railway line on each side of the bridge.
The five-year project cost approximately $269.3 million, according to one of the funders, the African Development Bank Group.
- MBONGENI MGUNI AND RAY NDLOVU, Botswana and Zambia open $260m Kazungula bridge, BusinessLive, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 11, 2021
- LENIN NDEBELE, Botswana and Zambia agree to work with Zimbabwe 'in principle' on Kazungula Bridge, SowetanLive, Published: May 10, 2021, Retrieved: May 11, 2021
- Sarah Evans, The SA/Zim border may see shorter queues, as the Kazungula bridge opens Monday, Business Insider, Published: May 9, 2021, Retrieved: May 11, 2021