Beitbridge Border Continues Crackdown
5 October 2023
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The Department of Immigration’s Regional Compliance and Enforcement Unit has declared its unwavering commitment to safeguarding the transformed Beitbridge Border Post from criminals and illegal migrants. Recent figures released by the department highlight the extent of their efforts, with 2,383 individuals turned away at the border, and 1,781 arrested for various illegal activities over the past three weeks in the region straddling Zimbabwe and South Africa.

This ongoing regional compliance operation, conducted in collaboration with local police, aims to curtail criminal activities that have plagued the border area. These activities include border jumping, touting, the use of counterfeit immigration stamps, and forged travel documents, which have contributed to a surge in human trafficking.

Mrs. Canisia Magaya, the Head of Immigration Compliance and Enforcement at Beitbridge, emphasized the cooperative approach being taken to tackle these issues. She stated, “We are not relenting on our quest to maintain safety and security for travelers and ensure a flawless flow of traffic this festive season.” Mrs. Magaya further explained that they are working closely with other border agencies as part of an enforcement committee to address problems related to touts, vendors, and vagrants along the border.

The recent crackdown resulted in the apprehension of offenders at freight, bus, light vehicle, and pedestrian terminals between September 12 and October 2. Mrs. Magaya noted that the operation’s primary goal is to ensure the safety and security of all travelers.

She reported, “Our regional enforcement and compliance remain firm on the ground. We worked with other border agencies, including the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), and between September 12 and October 2, they arrested 2,383 individuals for various border violation-related offenses.”

During the same period, 288 people were denied entry into South Africa, while 276 were unable to enter Zimbabwe. These individuals included citizens from countries such as the DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, and others. Many lacked valid permits, passports, or departure stamps from their home countries.

Mrs. Magaya stressed that ample manpower has been deployed to target known hotspots and areas prone to criminal activities. She also urged travelers to utilize designated entry and exit points for their own safety and to seek assistance from immigration offices if they have questions or concerns, as touts often exploit their lack of information.

The compliance operation remains ongoing, with Mrs. Magaya affirming their determination not to give criminals any breathing space. Enforcement teams are diligently conducting spot checks on vehicles and buses entering and leaving the country through Beitbridge Border Post.

The automation of services and improved traffic management at the transformed Beitbridge Border Post has significantly enhanced efficiency and security, making it a pivotal point of entry for the country. This commitment to safety and security underscores the importance of maintaining the integrity of this critical border crossing for both Zimbabwe and its neighboring countries.-state media