Scores of Zimbabwe travellers have been blocked from crossing the country’s borders with immigration officials questioning the validity of their COVID-19 test certificates and various documents.
The country’s borders were reopened on Monday with strict travel regulations in place. One such regulation is that travellers should have a valid Covid-19 certificate.
Two footballers, Agrippa Murimba (Triangle United Football Club), and Raymond Uchena (Harare City Football Club), who are planning to join Morupule Wanderers, are among the people that have been stranded at Botswana’s Ramokgwebana border post for almost two days.
Others who are stranded include informal traders and others returning home after almost nine months living outside the country following the closure of the borders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Denis Juru, president of the International Cross Border Traders Association of Zimbabwe, hundreds of people have been turned away at Zimbabwe’s ports of entry with authorities citing lack of authentic COVID-19 tests, improper travel documents and other issues.
Juru said on Tuesday alone, about 622 of the 6 338 Zimbabweans intending to cross the Beitbridge Border Post were turned away due to lack of proper documentation, including COVID-19 test certificates.
At least 230 people faced the same problem at Plumtree Border Post where 2 148 locals wanted to return home or visit Botswana. At Forbes Border Post 531 people failed to produce proper documentation while 314 Zimbabweans were also stranded at Chirundu Border Post.
There were 38 and 41 such cases at Nyamapanda and Victoria Falls border posts, respectively.