Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Government has started installing closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) at Beitbridge Border Post to curb corruption perpetrated by immigration and customs officers.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Cde Obedingwa Mguni said last week that the CCTVs were part of a raft of measures Government was employing to deal with rampant cases of corruption, with the view of maximising revenue collection.
Installation of the gadgets in the main immigration hall began a week ago and installation on the customs hall is pending.
“We are behind schedule,” said Deputy Minister Mguni. “The machines should have been up and running by now. They will be switched on in a few days’ time.
“The CCTVs will be monitored from one central point. They will help us in addressing issues affecting the smooth flow of both cargo and human traffic.
“We will install similar machines at Plumtree Border Post. We will also implement the same strategies with Chirundu, which works concurrently with Beitbridge.”
Cde Mguni said Government had since set up a crack inter-ministerial team to look into the issues of curbing intrusive leakages at all ports of entry into the country.
He said they will soon deploy mobile gold detecting machines at Beitbridge where smuggling was rife.
“We are also in the midst of training more sniffer dogs to deal with the issue of smuggling of minerals and other natural resources such as ivory,” said Cde Mguni.
“You will notice that most criminals are now smuggling ivory in powder form and hence we have to adapt to all these tricks.”
Cde Mguni urged immigration and customs officers and other Government workers at the country’s borders to desist from corrupt activities.
“Corrupt elements are bleeding our economy and affecting the revenue collection base,” he said.
“As a Government, we cannot stand aside and let this go on forever.”
Cde Mguni said Government was finalising the processes of identifying a developer who will upgrade and expand the infrastructure at Beitbridge Border Post to expedite the implementation of the one-stop border post concept between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
He said the inadequacy of infrastructure at the port of entry remained the main bottleneck towards the implementation of the one-stop-border-post concept.
“We have seen the artistic impression of the final outlook of the border and are confident that civil works will begin soon,” said Cde Mguni.
“It is prudent for Government to upgrade the border post as a matter of urgency and accord it a befitting status as the busiest inland port in Sadc. We need to create more space for commercial trucks, buses and private motorists.”