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Immigration ready for festive traffic

by Staff reporter
17 Dec 2020 at 17:41hrs | Views
The Department of Immigration is reviewing its operations to expeditiously clear increased volumes of human and vehicular traffic expected starting this weekend.

The organisation's Head of protocol and public relations, Mrs Memory Mugwagwa said they were putting more focus on Beitbridge and Plumtree Ports of entries where traffic was increasing.

The Herald understands that before the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of seven million and three million travellers were passing through Beitbridge and Plumtrees annually.

According to Mrs Mugwagwa, the department is anticipating human traffic to increase considering that many schools will be closing tomorrow in Zimbabwe and that many companies in the region had started effecting annual shutdowns.

She said in some instances they had to boost their staff complement with staff from less busy stations and had also suspended all leave and off days for them to operate at full strength.

Mrs Mugwagwa said they were liaising with other inter-border agencies to ensure a seamless movement of traffic in and out of the country.

"We are processing between 4000 and 5000 travellers at Beitbridge and Plumtree and we have been polishing up our operations so that we will be able to absorb more traffic through the festive season," she said.

Currently, she said the land borders were partially open and that they are only facilitating the movement of authorised buses for repatriations and deportations of citizens.

Mrs Mugwagwa said, they were also clearing the movement of those buses travelling to other countries through Zimbabwe.

"Though we are having spontaneous arrivals of travellers at the borders, unlike public transport that operates on scheduled times, we are equal to the task.

"We also advise travellers to comply with the set operational plans and rules at the borders so that we make travelling seamless," said Mrs Mugwagwa.

It is also understood that the department is carrying out a compliance and enforcement operation at Beitbridge to prevent cases of irregular migration.

This has resulted in the rounding up of more than 300 border jumpers since the beginning of this month.

The Regional Immigration officer in charge of the Western region, Mr Regis Munyaradzi said they opened Maitengwe border post to private motorist and pedestrians on Tuesday to ease pressure at Plumtree Border Post.

Zimbabwe shares Maitengwe, Mlambapele, and Plumtree and Mpoengs borders posts with Botswana.

Source - the herald