Scores of throng Beitbridge border post in last-minute travel




Scenes from Beitbridge Border Post around between 6 and 9 am where travellers are seeking to exit before the midnight suspension on cross border travel kicks in.

SCORES of Zimbabweans and South Africans have thronged the Beitbridge Border Post where they are seeking to pass before the suspension of general passenger and cross border travel takes effect at midnight today.

Most of the travelers had arrived at the border by 8PM last night.

They were not able to cross into South Africa where authorities are implementing a curfew between 9PM and 6AM.

Only commercial cargo is being cleared on a 24-hour basis.

Over the weekend, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga announced new lockdown measures that will see cross border travel being suspended with effect from midnight today.

Under the new order, only holders of foreign countries work, student or resident permits, diplomats on government business and holders of foreign travel documents will be allowed to leave the border.

“I arrived here at 8PM last night but could not cross the border because of the curfew.   As you can see there are many travellers here  and motor vehicles but we are happy authorities have a system to move traffic as fast as they can,” said Mr Vusa Busimani Ncube.

Another traveler identified only as Mr Makhosi said he had arrived early at the border to beat the midnight deadline.

“We had to travel overnight, because we don’t want to have inconveniences when the travel ban is being implemented.   However, it is pleasing to note that more clearing points have been created by Zimra and Immigration. Things are moving,” said Mr Archy Rukweza, another traveller.

A border official who declined to be named said they had a target to clear everyone at the border by 2PM today.

“We have deployed enough and we have the army, the police and security guards marshalling queues for both human and vehicle traffic,” said the official.

The Port Health Department has deployed more personnel at all entry and exit points to quicken the screening of travellers.

At the main entry gate immigration officials were observed screening travellers.

Along the major highway leading to Bulawayo and Harare, municipality police and those from ZRP traffic were controlling vehicles in a long but moving queue.

Source – chronicle