Three hundred and sixty-six (366) Zimbabweans returning from South Africa are said to be stranded at the Beitbridge Border post after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) refused to handle them.
The Herald reports that the returnees had already been cleared for re-entry by the Department of Immigration. An unnamed official told the publication that clearance by the immigration department had been completed around 10 pm local time. The official said:
By 10am, they had all completed immigration formalities and the delays are only at Zimra where they were told that the customs officials were not clearing travellers in buses as yet.
The report was corroborated by one of the returnees only identified as Mai Panashe of Harare who said they were having challenges with Zimra officials. She said:
We arrived here in the morning and were cleared by the immigration officers. Now our challenge is with Zimra who are saying we should return to South Africa since they are not processing arrivals in buses. This is very unfair. How can they deny us entry into our own country?
Zimbabweans from neighbouring South Afric are returning home after the government indicated last month that Zimbabwean citizens may now return from South Africa via Beitbridge without having to seek authorisation from the Zimbabwean embassy or the South African government.
South Africa opened 18 of its 35 land borders to passenger traffic on 1 October and Zimbabwe will gradually open its borders to passenger traffic, mainly motorists in private vehicles and pedestrians.
Borders were closed in March following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
More: The Herald