Some travellers have been left stranded at the Beitbridge Border Post, outside Musina, in Limpopo. This is due to the hard lockdown in Zimbabwe.
The port of entry usually sees large volumes of travellers during the Easter weekend. This as many make their way to various destinations in the Southern African region.
This year, however, many holidaymakers are being turned back. And only business travellers are being processed into Zimbabwe.
Holidaymakers turned back at Beitbridge Border Post:
A few hours before Good Friday, traffic flow on the South African side of the Beitbridge Border Post is relatively normal.
Travellers say this is mostly due to the hard lockdown on the Zimbabwean side of the port of entry.
Lennon Muzengeza is a businessman who buys blankets and other clothing items in Johannesburg and sells them in Zimbabwe to fend for his family.
He was turned back with other business people as they attempted to cross the border, with South African police officers telling them they would not be processed on the Zimbabwean side of the border.
Muzengeza says, “I am carrying blanket and slippers to Harare. In Zimbabwe, there is a crisis. People are starving. In the Limpopo River, there are crocodiles and hippos. I never try to go through Limpopo, but I try through the border straight. So, the police officer at the border says I must go back in the bush and there are thieves. Yesterday, five people were killed in the bush by thieves. So, I will never go to the bush.”
Even though the hard lockdown in Zimbabwe has resulted in a reduction of holidaymakers travelling through the port of entry, truck drivers say they are still waiting in long queues before being processed.
Adam Nienabir, who is en route to Zambia, has expressed his frustration.
“I came yesterday afternoon. I stood in the queue. I went to the truck stop because it is not safe in the queue and then from six o’clock this morning I’m in the queue. We moved just from there to here, the whole day. All the time, when you come to Beitbridge, it doesn’t matter if it’s this side or that side, It takes us two days, sometimes five days just to cross a border. There must be a better way. Crime is a nightmare.”
Some of the travellers have pleaded for Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnagangwa’s administration’s intervention.