Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
MATABELELAND South Provincial Affairs Minister Abednico Ncube has called for heavy police presence along the country’s borders with South Africa and Botswana as border jumpers pose a health threat due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There has been an increasing number of people crossing into the country through illegal points.
On Monday, police manning a roadblock at Ngundu Growth Point intercepted 18 Zimbabwean returnees suspected to have crossed into the country from South Africa illegally. The returnees were taken to Rupangwana Isolation Centre in Chiredzi for mandatory Covid-19 testing and quarantining.
Speaking on Monday during his tour of isolation centres in Gwanda, Minister Ncube said everyone entering the country is supposed to be screened and housed in a quarantine facility. Those sneaking into the country were evading this crucial process.
“As a province we have received with great concern reports of people that are getting into the country mostly from South Africa through illegal entry points. This is alarming because we are faced with a pandemic and anyone coming into the country has to go through necessary health checks.
“Returnees have to be screened and placed in quarantine facilities for 21 days to ensure that they don’t have the pandemic. Those who are sneaking into the country are foregoing this crucial process,” he said.
“I would like to call upon the police to tighten their presence along the border lines and to apprehend these culprits. Countries resorted to closing their borders in order to restrict movement of people as this pandemic is serious. As Matabeleland South Province we are a border province and such activities will pose a huge threat for us.”
Minister Ncube said there were also cases of goods that were being smuggled into the country through illegal entry points which was alarming. He urged residents from the province to ensure that they adhere to all stipulations that had been set by Government in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. He urged police to ensure that all those who did not adhere to regulations were apprehended and brought to book.
“In order for us to fight this pandemic there is need for collective effort from each and every person. Let’s not assume that we are clever by breaking regulations as the people who will be affected at the end of the day will be us,” he said. — @DubeMatutu