Immigration boss speaks on border delays 

Source: Immigration boss speaks on border delays – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 22, 2017

Immigration department principal director Clemence Masango has attributed delays being experienced at the country’s major entry points during peak arrival seasons to inadequate infrastructure and processing equipment.

By Tinotenda Munyukwi

The comments came at a time there has been unsettling reports of a surge in people and vehicles, especially at Beitbridge Border Post where festive season arrivals were undergoing tormenting delays.

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Masango said the only long-term solution to the recurring chaos at borders during peak seasons was expanding the infrastructure to allow for more personnel and equipment to be deployed by all border agencies in order to process arrivals timeously.

“All border agencies even if they were told to recruit today, they won’t be able to recruit two times the number there because you will not be able to deploy, unless Beitbridge is redesigned. So it is the capacity of the infrastructure which does not enable or offer room to be creative and to deploy more personnel,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) on Tuesday had to implement interim measures to minimise delays in the clearance of cargo, especially at Beitbridge, after its Asycuda web-based system malfunctioned and it had to allow arrivals to just prove that the required duty and taxes had been paid in order to be cleared.

Masango said it was imperative for travellers to understand the uniqueness of both the Beitbridge Border Post and the Victoria Falls Airport which for the latter is to do with the nature of arrivals that are mostly foreigners and require lengthy visa verification procedures.

He, however, reassured the public that the government was aware of these problems and deliberations and plans were in motion to rectify the situation and restore sanity at all border posts across all yearly seasons.

Masango said it was important for all border agencies to deliberate on effective ways that in the meantime could put the delays to an end while raising optimism that plans to rectify the situation were achievable.

“Zimra, Immigration department, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and National Handling Services, among others, we need to have positive dialogue on how we can solve this problem moving forward,” Masango said.