Scams at Beitbridge Border Post

The Chronicle

Stephen Mpofu, Perspective

DISCREET but nauseating scams are reportedly the order of things at both the Zimbabwean and South African border posts at Beitbridge with authorities on our side saying this week that they will leave no stone unturned to root out those officers engaged in the alleged corrupt acts. 

Zimbabweans working in South Africa and returning home for Christmas with family and friends told this communicologist in Bulawayo three days ago: “Money speaks at Beitbridge border posts.”

Beitbridge Border Post

First, the men and women interviewees who preferred anonymity claimed separately that those coming home to register to vote in next year’s harmonised elections or for Christmas and not willing to be tested for Covid-19 or it’s variants now reported in some countries simply stashed money in their passports on arrival at our side of our border and officers stamped the passports so that the travellers proceeded on their way out without lining up for their health status to be checked.

Last week the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Cde July Moyo, warned Zimbabweans to exercise extreme caution in their contacts with diasporans coming home during the current festive season, and those visiting other countries in our region to protect themselves from contracting Covid-19 or its new variants reported in other countries.

Cde July Moyo

When informed about travellers evading tests to detect Covid virus infections, Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said:

“This is very serious and we are investigating the matter.”

Another interviewee said that Zimbabweans entering South Africa through Beitbridge without permits simply place the amount of money demanded by immigration authorities, whites or blacks, or the cash in their possession and are allowed to proceed on their way to their destination “without much further ado”.

Similarly if a foreigner was stopped inside South Africa without possessing valid work permits, money also speaks freedom for the foreigner.

Another Zimbabwean claimed that the alleged scam at Beitbridge was such that one officer in the Criminal Investigating Department at Beitbridge now also possessed houses in South Africa and here at home, allegedly because so much money changed hands in that town.

One Zimbabwean traveller however, spoke of positive measures being taken by South African authorities to curb smuggling activities by border jumpers across the Limpopo River boundary between that country and Zimbabwe. 

He said special forces were being trained to monitor illegal crossing points across the border to curb the smuggling activities that are rife across the border between the two countries.

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Vandalised copper cables in Bulawayo and other places in Zimbabwe are some of the items reportedly blued across our border to South Africa resulting in repeated power blackouts in various Zimbabwean urban centres. 

Meanwhile, the Government has urged people to observe all Covid-19 protocols to prevent a lockdown in the New Year and in that way forestall a fatal blow to the revival of industrial activity as the country heads into harmonised elections.

The destiny of our country lies in every Zimbabwean’s hands and so it beholves on each and every unmitigated patriot to jealously guard every aspect of our national security in order to proceed into a brave new future as a united people on the back of a solid economy, or so this writer humbly wishes.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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