Security agents destroy another makeshift bridge along Limpopo River

30 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Security agents destroy another makeshift bridge along Limpopo River Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

The Chronicle

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE National Security Task Force (NTF) has destroyed another makeshift bridge that was being used by smugglers and border jumpers to move between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The bridge made of wood was constructed recently about 1km east of the New Limpopo Bridge.

The people who built it, who are yet to be located, charged between R20 and R100 as “access fee” for smugglers and border jumpers.

A makeshift bridge – image taken from Dreamstime

Chronicle established that the bridges and make-shift boats are made from wood, plastic containers and used tyres.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said there was good progress in terms of eradicating crime along the border with South Africa.

“As the police, we want to warn those engaging in crime along the border that their days are numbered,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

“We encourage those who want to travel or move goods between Zimbabwe and South Africa to always use the formal and legal port of entry.”

The use of makeshift bridges and wood rafts has become common along the Limpopo River.

However, the taskforce continues to confiscate and destroy the boats and the bridges.

It is estimated that there are more than 200 illegal crossing points along 250km of the Limpopo River.

The most common illegal crossing points are Pandamine, River Ranch, Dite, Mawale, Mai Maria, Gate 2 and Musetshe.

A border official said yesterday that the makeshift bridges were being constructed near the spillway and the national parks compound.

“With the water levels in Limpopo River lowering in recent weeks, a number of illegal entry points have emerged. So, the National Security Task Force members are intensifying patrols at all the crime hotspots,” said the official.

The taskforce has destroyed more than 10 makeshift wooden rafts along the borderline in the last 12 months.

A few weeks ago, a Mozambican woman and her 3-year-old baby girl drowned near the national parks compound when a raft they were using to cross from South Africa capsized.

Their bodies are yet to be retrieved.

Last year the security agents destroyed a makeshift bridge near the same area that is infested with crocodiles and hippopotamuses.
— @tupeyo

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