(Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
BEITBRIDGE – Thousands of Zimbabweans have continued to flock to Beitbridge border post fleeing the country’s deep political and economic crisis characterised by high levels of inflation and unemployment.
For the past few days, a scramble has been witnessed at the Beitbrodge border post despite high risk posed by the Covid-19 global pandemic, some defying the set regulations in a bid to cross into South Africa
Over the years, Zimbabweans have sought greener pastures in South Africa, however recently the process has been made hard due to the lockdown regulations which have resulted in tightened border restrictions.
A Covid-19 free certificate is required before crossing the border while securing a passport in Zimbabwe is still a challenge which forces many people to use illegal entry points into the neighbouring country.
“When we come this side, we get something to give our children in Zimbabwe, that is why we are doing this,” said one Zimbabwea waiting to cross the border during an interview with SABC news.
Quizzed on whether he had a Covid-19 certificate, the man said he did not carry one because the way he was going to cross did not require one.
Reports say now over 50 travellers have been found with fake Covid-19 certificates.
Last week, SA Home Affairs Minister following a visit to the border post announced that they will be deploying army helicopters and police boats to man around the Limpopo River in an effort to curb the illegal influx into the country.
“We have given an instruction, that person must be returned he is a fraudster. You can’t just come with a fraudulent document and they look at it and smile and say it’s fraudulent, let’s test you again. It can’t happen that way. The person who wants to enter our country with a fraudulent document is undermining our sovereignty,” said Minister Araron Motsoaledi.
Commenting on a video that has gone viral showing a large number of Zimbabweans desperately waiting at the border post, veteran journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said this was a reflection of how desperate the situation is in Zimbabwe.
“This is the situation this morning at the Beitbridge border.These Zimbabweans are now on the South African side of the border waiting to be processed so that they can be let out to proceed to South Africa.
“This is a sign of how desperate Zimbabweans are due to the economic mess,” said Chin’ono.