Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Beitbridge Border Post Battles Illegal Immigrants

The Department of Immigration says it is intercepting an average of 100 illegal migrants at Beitbridge Border Post as they try to skip the country to South Africa on a daily basis.

Speaking during a media tour co-ordinated by the Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre yesterday, the assistant regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge Border Post Mr Notius Tarisai said these migrants were being transported mainly in South African-registered Toyota Quantums.

He said they were working together with other security agents to contain the situation.

“We have a problem of parents trying to smuggle their children through the border post, especially during holidays. These use the border post or other undesignated entry points along the boundary line.

“We are carrying out periodic raids on known points with the assistance of the police and this is paying dividends,” said Mr Tarisai.

He added that they had made submissions to their main office in Harare for the deployment of 20 more immigration officers and 24 immigration guards.

Mr Tarisai said they were operating with a staff complement of 52 people.

He said with more hands on the job, they would increase search points before the border post and minimise irregular migration.

“The smuggling of children in kombi’s is worrisome and hence we have intensified searches on all vehicles leaving or entering the country.

“We have sent a lot of the transporters to the courts where most of them have been imprisoned for not less than two years,” said Mr Tarisai.

He said they also had a problem with illegal migrants from countries in the horn of Africa who break the country’s immigration laws wilfully.

Mr Tarisai said these were conferring themselves refugees’ status and were not willing to comply with the law.

“Immigrants from countries in the Horn of Africa are not interested in using our border and we intercepted them during routine raids around the boundary line.

“We arrest of lot of them after they fail to cross to South Africa through the Limpopo River,” he said.

Mr Tarisai said those immigrants intercepted while entering the country were fined $10 for entry by evasion.

He added that there was a need for Government to speed up the border expansion and upgrading programme in line with the changing trends in movement of both human and vehicular traffic.

A total of 175 000 travellers, 21 00 buses, 14 000 to 15 000 haulage trucks and 25 000 private cars pass through the border on a daily basis.

Source : The Herald