South African police reportedly foiled a plot to shut down the Beitbridge Border Post by a group of disaffected Zimbabweans living in the neighbouring country.
Reports from South Africa indicate that some pressure groups led by Judah Hossana, leader of an organisation known as the Smoke that Thunders, attempted to march to the border last week but were stopped by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
The protestors intended to block commercial traffic from entering and leaving South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post. Said an official:
The group of fewer than 30 people tried to march to the border and were stopped by the police enforcing Covid-19 protocols and anti-smuggling operations some 10km from the Beitbridge Border Gate.
To save face, Hossana and his people went to a church in Matswale suburb in Musina where they tried to lure some African refugees to join in but failed to find any takers.
They then started picketing carrying placards denouncing the Zimbabwean Government before dispersing.
Police officer commanding Beitbridge, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said police were aware of plans to export the demonstrations from Musina to Beitbridge and were prepared for that eventuality. Nyongo said:
According to information on the ground, the planned demonstrations flopped in South Africa. So we don’t expect any spillover.
Though these people had promised to carry out their mission across the border, we are not taking any chances. We are ready for any spillover and we will continue enforcing the laws of the land.