President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ordered the removal of touts and other illegal vendors from the new Beitbridge border post.
This comes after the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development complained that touts were tarnishing the image of the country and hindering smooth cross-border movement.
The touts claim to be able to expedite border crossing into and out of neighboring South Africa.
Speaking at the Ministry’s strategic planning workshop here on Thursday, Minister Felix Mhona said.
“I am happy we have a listening President. Recently, I briefed President Mnangagwa that we still have challenges of touts and middlemen (makoronyera) at the new border post, who will be waiting to intercept travellers and asking for documents, and we don’t need them there. His response was, flush them out.
“We don’t want interference with the operations of the border post. If you are done with your business at the border, you go straight to your destination.
“We don’t want anyone outside the border asking for ZIMRA documents such as manifests.
“We don’t want this to happen, it must be stopped. It must be stated that no other formalities must be conducted outside the border.
“Those who know, if you get into the new border post, we have all counters including the Criminal Investigating Department.
“So there is no one who should stop you outside that framework.”
Mhona also said traffic flow at the border had increased in the last four months and was expected to reach pre- COVID-19 pandemic levels soon.
We are happy that the traffic flow at the new border is picking up.
“Before COVID-19, the figures used to hover around 900 (vehicles) per day. With the advent of COVID-19, the number dropped to around 300 per day.
“Post COVID, although we are still in the era, we are now receiving 800 trucks a day in the last four months. This means we are slowly moving towards desired numbers,” he said.