Zimbabwe govt urged to upgrade immigration systems

By Staff reporter | 03 Sep 2019 at 18:07hrs
Immigration
GOVERNMENT must adequately train immigration and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officers manning the country's borders in human rights, a parliamentary portfolio committee has recommended.

The Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Human Rights said the government must ensure that by 2020 it would have addressed the issue to eliminate human rights violations at the country's borders.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage must ensure that immigration officers are properly and regularly trained in human rights issues by 2020," the committee said in a report to Parliament.

"The committee observed that Beitbridge Border Post does not have facilities to take care of persons with disability. The border post does not have police holding facilities. Thus, accused persons are taken for detention at Beitbridge police station as soon as the initial documentation is finished. It is the police station that takes care of all the needs of the accused persons at the border post.

"The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must upgrade border management system at all ports of entry by 2020."

While Zimbabwe has 15 ports of entry which are being run by Zimra, the borders remain porous as travellers are faced with numerous challenges from corrupt officials to artificial delays in servicing travellers.

Beitbridge Border Post is the busiest inland port of entry in sub-Saharan Africa, handling more than 3 500 vehicles and 9 000 people crossing daily with the numbers soaring to 20 000 during peak periods.

It collects more than $50 million in revenue monthly, accounting for 70 percent of Zimra's income which translates into 30 percent of government's revenue.

An independent study by the South African Institute of International Affairs (Saiia) in 2015 showed that while 400 trucks pass through the Beitbridge border everyday they are often delayed by up to three days.

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