BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZIMBABWE is witnessing a decline in cross-border movement as a result of tighter lockdown measures, a latest survey by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has shown.
The country remains on level four lockdown, with intercity travel also banned, a situation that has limited movement.
The country’s borders also remain closed as a COVID-19 preventive measure, open only to returning citizens and commercial traffic.
IOM’s latest report shows a 50% decline in cross-border movement in July compared to June.
“Over the reporting period, a total of 976 cross-border movements were observed at the flow monitoring points (FMPs). The average daily number flow was 44. This represented a 50% decrease compared to June, during which 88 individuals were observed on a daily basis,” the report read.
“The decrease in movements can be attributed to the tightened lockdown measures in Zimbabwe.
Zambia (80%), Zimbabwe (10%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5%) were the main countries of departure while Zimbabwe (74%), Zambia (14%) and South Africa (9%) were the main countries of intended destination of individuals passing through the different FMPs.”
The report also revealed the extent of trafficking of children, saying that a number of children during the period under review were found to be unaccompanied.
“Out of 976 individuals observed, 35% were males and 65% were females. There were 25 women who were visibly pregnant.
Boys and girls (males and females below 18) made up 9% of the individuals observed, respectively. Of 88 children observed, 45 were unaccompanied boys and 19 were unaccompanied girls.
However, this information is based on direct observation and self-reporting, therefore, is likely under-reported,” the IOM report added.