Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
AUTHORITIES at Beitbridge Border Post have increased surveillance and anti-smuggling activities during the ongoing lockdown period and have managed to intercept 21 commercial trucks that were smuggling into the country an assortment goods worth millions of dollars.
It is understood that the volume of commercial cargo entering or leaving Zimbabwe through its southern border has increased following the closure of other borders in the Sadc region.
Zimbabwe remains the only viable transit route for those countries north of the Zambezi River, including Zambia, Malawi, DRC, Tanzania and Angola.
According to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), traffic volumes per day increased from an average (import/export) 450 daily in 2019 to 1 000 between March and June this year.
Prior to the lockdown, Zimra was clearing around 500 commercial trucks daily.
Zimra’s regional manager for Beitbridge, Mr Innocent Chikuni recently that the smuggling of groceries and related items remained the biggest challenges to the collection of revenue.
He was speaking during the tour of the border by the Revenue Authority’s senior managers and the Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.
“Working with other stakeholders we have been able to seize goods from 56 offenders and impounded 22 motor vehicles between April and May at undesignated entry points along the Limpopo River.
“In addition, smuggling activities through the border post are surging because of the increased traffic. Between March and May we recorded 81 seizures including 21 commercial trucks & trailers,” said Mr Chikuni.