THE International Cross-Border Traders’ Association (ICTA) has threatened to close all Zimbabwe’s borders on April 16 and 17 this year to press government to allow locals based in the Diaspora to be allowed to exercise their voting rights.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
ICTA president Dennis Juru told Southern Eye that their planned protests were also aimed at demanding the abolishment of Statutory Instrument 64/2016 (SI 64/2016) which was introduced in 2016 to reduce imports of finished products.
“The government of Zimbabwe should allow all its citizens outside Zimbabwe to vote from the countries where they are residing as per 2013 Constitution,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently said that the government had inadequate resources to provide voting material to millions of Zimbabweans based in the Diaspora.
In a message which has gone viral on social media platforms, Juru demands that police and Customs and Excise roadblocks mounted at Makhado and Mwenezi along the Bulawayo and Harare roads be stopped.
“On April 16 and 17, 2018, all borders to and from Zimbabwe shall be disrupted by protests. The International Cross-Border Traders’ Association advises crossborder traders, truck drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, clearing agents, travellers and crossborder traders to heed our call.
“Buses and any other travellers using the border must be searched once at the border,” Juru said in his statement.
Police and Customs and Excise officials have mounted the roadblocks targeting smugglers who avoid the border post and use undesignated sites along the Limpopo
“We demand the abolishment of the SI64 of 2016, which prohibits the importation of basic commodities that are even not on shelves in Zimbabwean shops. If Zimbabwe is open for business, as said by the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa), allow Zimbabweans to import any goods of their choice or groceries for personal consumption,” he said.
Police at Beitbridge said they had not yet received an application for the protests.
“We have not received any such application for that action. We don’t know anything about it,” Officer Commanding Beitbridge police Chief Superintendent Francis Phiri said.