Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A 30-YEAR-OLD man was fatally stabbed by three unknown men in a suspected case of robbery 200 metres from Beitbridge Border Post.
It is reported that the man was attacked at around 2AM on Saturday near the traffic circle close to the country’s and SADC’s busiest inland port of entry.
The man was seen writhing in agony by passers-by who reported the matter to the police.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said the man died upon admission to Beitbridge Referral Hospital.
He identified the deceased as Jeremiah Mutasa.
“We are investigating the murder case and have no further details at the moment. The three suspects are unknown and we are appealing to anyone with information to contact Beitbridge police or any nearest police station,” said Chief Insp Ndebele.
There has been a marked decrease in cases of muggings of travellers, conmen, bogus clearing agents and other wheeler dealers gaining entry to Beitbridge border post since the beefing up of security personnel after Operation Restore Legacy in 2017.
The immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge, Mr Nqobile Ncube, told the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Human Rights recently that in the previous years, they would experience many incidents of crime, especially touts harassing travellers among them visitors to the country.
The Parliamentary team is on a countrywide tour of holding facilities to assess the human standards at police stations and ports of entry with respect to the rights of accused persons.
Mr Ncube said: “If you look back in the last three years, you will note that there has been a great improvement on the Border Efficiency and Management Systems.
“It is pleasing to note that the security has been beefed up and organised, of course we have touts here and there but most of these have been flushed out since the start of Operation Restore Legacy in November 2017.
“In cases where travellers are harassed by the border stakeholders, we deal with the matters as and when they arise.
“The whole idea is to make the border systems as seamless as we can’t enhance the Government’s thrust on the ease of doing business”.
He said touts and criminals, most of whom cause unnecessary congestion, were portraying a bad image of the country considering the port of entry was its preface to visitors.
Mr Ncube added that border authorities were employing harmonised operations, mostly during peak periods to create a smooth environment for the movement of both people and goods.
He said they had also adopted a zero tolerance to cases of human smuggling, mainly of children between Zimbabwe and South Africa during school holidays.
“We are working together with other line stakeholders to ensure that we minimise cases of illegal migration within our borders,” said Mr Ncube.
The Chronicle is reliably informed that the number of people being arrested at the border post currently for violating immigration laws is averaging less than 20 daily down from 60.
According to police, they are arresting less than 10 people for other border offences daily.
In 2016, Government used $600 000 to upgrade security facilities at the port of entry with a view to stamping out corruption and intrusive leakages in or out of the country.
The border post was also declared a security zone in 2014.