Nyanga Villagers Raise Red Flag Over Illegal Border Crossings
6 June 2020
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Zimbabweans illegally crossing the border into South Africa.

VILLAGERS in Nyanga North have raised concern over people who cross into Zimbabwe and Mozambique using unofficial crossing points, stating that if the situation is not seriously monitored, it might increase the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

This follows revelations of continued high cross border mobility which has sparked a lot of debate in the area as communities along the two sides of the border live like one community.

Martha Berinardo from Mozambique says despite the COVID-19 outbreak, she crossed into Zimbabwe to get quality health care, while Sister Christine Murombedzi who is the acting Nurse in Charge at Regina Coeli Hospital said a third of the health facility’s clientele is from across Mozambique.

“I have chosen to come to Regina because that’s the shortest distance from my village to a health facility manned by doctors,” said Berinardo.

“Quite a number of our clientele is from across the border. They constitute a third of our patients as we are not very far from Mozambique,” said Sister Murombedzi.

Village head Rutendo Mawadza and Nyanga North ward 13 Councilor, Stephen Karera, said there is need for increased surveillance and control along the border.

“Our border from ward one up to Honde Valley is too porous. The movement into and out of the country is increasing the risk of Covid-19 transmission. We appeal for increased surveillance and control along the border,” Rutendo Mawadza said

“We are concerned with the unmonitored movement of people. This increases the risk of transmission. From ward 13 to Sagambe and Honde Valley there is too much movement with a number of people guilty of not wearing masks,” said Councilor Karera.

There is consensus that people using unofficial points are less likely to seek medical care or will seek attention after already exposing others to the disease.