Zimbabweans working in South Africa and returning home for Christmas with family and friends have said “money speaks at Beitbridge border post” if they don’t meet some requirements.
Returnees who spoke to the Chronicle on condition of anonymity said those who were not willing to be tested for COVID-19 stashed money in their passports on arrival at the Zimbabwean side of the border and officers stamped the passports.
This way, travellers avoid lining up for their health status to be checked.
These reports come when there is a resurgence of COVID-19 in some countries.
The Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo, recently urged 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.
Zimbabwe national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) was taking the reports of evading COVID-19 screening seriously adding, “we are investigating the matter.”
Another returnee said that Zimbabweans entering South Africa through Beitbridge without permits simply place the amount of money demanded by immigration authorities and are allowed to proceed “without much further ado”.
The Chronicle also reported that the case was the same if a foreigner was stopped inside South Africa without possessing valid work permits – money was paid to bribe officials.
It is not the first time reports of corruption at the Beitbridge Border Post have been reported.
Several Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials were busted over the years for engaging in underhand dealings that have seen them amassing wealth at the expense of the whole nation.
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