via Beitbridge graft scares away tourists, ZTA – New Zimbabwe 04/10/2015
MUTARE: Numbers of South African tourists coming into the country have declined as compared to previous years due to corruption at the Beitbridge border post, says Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) boss.
Speaking at a ZTA consultative meeting held in the eastern border town recently, ZTA Chief Karikoga Kaseke said the number of tourist arrivals from South Africa has declined from 1 300 000 in 2010 to 600 000 last year.
Kaseke shouldered the blame on what he described “corrupt and greedy officials” manning the Beitbridge border post.
Border posts are manned by Department of Immigration and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).
Kaseke described the situation at Beitbridge as a “nightmare for the country”.
He said the situation at Beitbridge was pathetic and needed urgent intervention if the tourism sector was to regain its lost glory.
“Beitbridge border post is a nightmare to this country. It has made us lose 700 000 arrivals between 2010 and 2014,” said Kaseke, adding “corruption is happening in the broad daylight”.
He, however, accepted that the infrastructure at the country’s border points was in bad shape and there was need for a refurbishment.
He said the task was being overseen by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
A senior Immigration official, Terrence Tandavarai said they were doing their best to serve those who cross borders in difficult situations.
“We are doing our best under difficult situations. When a tourist is delayed he passes on information to his colleagues and this contributes to a decline in arrivals,” said Tandavarai.