COVID-19 And Reopening of Borders.

Ronald Chigwada

On the 1st of December 2020, Zimbabwe reopened it’s borders to the general public amidst mixed feelings from citizens on the state of preparedness in making sure that Covid-19 pandemic spread is curbed.

Community Radio Harare spoke to Vendors Initiative for Social Economic and Transformation (VISET), who argued that the $60 USD being charged by medical examiners to issue valid health certificate was beyond reach for most of their members.

“We appreciate the move and hope they have put everything in place to prevent the spread of the pandemic, but we don’t want a situation where the government will regret reopening of borders to the general public “, said Vendors Initiative For Economic and Transformation, Communications Officer ,Jabulani Chikomwe.

One of the vendors in the central business district of Harare applauded government and it’s neighbours for reopening borders, “This is a good move for informal traders since we get our products from South Africa, we expect to see business boosting after 8 months disturbance due to tight lockdown restrictions”

Commenting on reopening of border posts Labour Economists and Afrikan Democrats (LEAD), National Spokesperson Malvine Marange said,
“Beitbridge and Plumtree border posts are being opened for pedestrians whilst they remain closed for buses will only open up loopholes for corruption. The question to the relevant authorities is what would have brought these so called pedestrians to the border posts and what will pick them up after crossing if not public transport. On this point our position as LEAD is that as we open our borders let us consider the fate of our cross border transporters and their families”

Passengers Association of Zimbabwe leader, Tafadzwa Goliath, said immigration officers from involved countries at borders posts should be on high alert as this move may lead nations into a disaster if not properly monitored.

Beitbridge Border Post

Harare residents noted with concern that this may result in high COVID-19 cases as most may not afford to meet the requirements to cross the border, forcing many people may use forged health certificates.

Zimbabwe closed it’s boarders to the general public on 31st March 2020 as a result of Covid-19 pandemic national lockdown restrictions.

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