Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
The Department of Immigration’s Compliance and Enforcement unit has intercepted a total of 25 Malawian border jumpers who were travelling to South Africa.
A source within the department said the interception was part of the clampdown on border jumping and human smuggling along the boundary with South Africa.
16 of those arrested had passports that were not stamped at any immigration office, while the rest of the group were undocumented.
The immigrants were reportedly travelling in an intercity bus after skipping the border into Zimbabwe via Nyamapanda.
The Acting Regional Immigration Officer in charge of Beitbridge, Mr Trustworth Manatsire confirmed the interception which occurred at a local service station at around 4 am.
“We have since handed the group to the police pending further investigations and prosecution.
“As a department, we want to warn syndicates involved in this human smuggling activity that they will face the full wrath of the law. We are not relenting,” said Mr Manatsire.
Border Authorities have since the beginning of the Covid-19 induced lockdowns been clamping down on the illegal movement of people across the port of entry, to minimize the spread of the disease.
In the last two months over 100 Malawians were intercepted skipping the border into Zimbabwe from South Africa or into South Africa from Zimbabwe.
Most of these are using syndicates in both countries to facilitate their illegal movement between the two countries.