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At least 51 000 Zimbabweans based in South Africa passed through Beitbridge Border Post during the Easter and Independence holidays, the department of immigration has said.Assistant regional immigration officer-in-charge of Beitbridge Mr Notius Tarisai said they had cleared 35 115 entries and 15 852 departures between April 17 and 20.

He said although the volume of traffic had surged at the country’s busiest port of entry, the situation was manageable.

Mr Tarisai said they had started recording an increase in terms of those travellers leaving the country.

“We cleared a total of 14 239 entries on the 17th of April and a further 12 639 on the 18th of April. The number of entries has started normalising to between 2000 and 5000. We are expecting the number of departures to increase between Monday and Tuesday as the holidays wind up,” he said.

He said they had separated traffic on both sides of the border into buses, private cars, returning residents, transit and commercial.

Mr Tarisai said they had also opened more immigration clearing points where tourists and transit travellers where being cleared inside the main building, while others were being assisted outside.

He said they had added 14 more workers to their staff compliment of 52 which was already on the ground.

“In a bid to avoid unnecessary congestion, we have separated traffic into various categories and you will note that the buses are cleared through the tagging system (first come first save) so that we don’t clog the border post,” said Mr Tarisai.

He said they were working on two 12 hours shifts and had agreed to align clearing mechanisms with their counterparts in South Africa.

Source : The Herald