The government of Zimbabwe has dismissed reports which suggest that South African Immigration officers at the Beitbridge Border Post were issuing a 5-year ban to Zimbabwean citizens returning from South Africa (SA).
Some returnees recently told NewsDay recently that they had been issued with a 5-year travel ban by SA immigration officers who did not explain why.
Responding to these reports, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana said:
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Not everybody that is coming from South Africa has their passport endorsed with a five-year ban but only those people who would have overstayed have some endorsements put in their passports, they would have flouted South Africa’s immigration laws so that is primarily the problem, the breaking of South African laws.
If you have been in South Africa legally, there will be no endorsement on your passport, on those occasions where people could not renew their permits to stay in South Africa because there was a lockdown, they also get an exception to the immigration laws
The alleged bans had shocked some including Beitbridge East legislator Albert Nguluvhe who had described them as an overreaction considering that some of the returnees were shoppers caught up when the coronavirus-induced lockdown commenced.
More: ZBC News