SMUGGLING syndicates are said to be illegally bringing vehicles stolen from South Africa into Zimbabwe through the porous Mozambican border entry points.
The reports come soon after two notorious car smugglers Taruona Moyo (32) and Mncedisi Khumalo (40) appeared before Chiredzi regional magistrate Judith Zuyu a fortnight ago on allegations that they smuggled a stolen car from South Africa into the country.
The pair was nabbed in Area 18 under Chief Sengwe in Chiredzi.
It is alleged that they connived with security forces patrolling the border to smuggle several top-of-the-range vehicles into the country every week.
The duo, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded in custody to a later date.
While vehicle smuggling is rampant at the porous Sango Border Post between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, of late Chiredzi, which shares the border with South Africa and Mozambique has also become the easiest illegal entry point for smugglers of various goods including motor vehicles, bales of second-hand clothing, illicit drugs, expensive cigarettes, spirits and whiskies.
Villagers in Malipati and other surrounding areas are losing scores of livestock every week to rustlers who steal their goats for resale in Mozambique.
Chiredzi South Member of Parliament Kalisto Gwanetsa (Zanu PF) confirmed that villagers had lost over a thousand livestock this year alone.
“Yes, that is a serious problem is my constituency at the moment.
“Villagers are losing their cattle and goats to rustlers from Mozambique.
“We have so far engaged various stakeholders to try and find a solution to the problem,” Gwanetsa said.
Precious minerals and ivory are also allegedly smuggled through various illegal points to Mozambique.
“These are said to find their way to European and Asians markets, allegedly with the aid of the Immigration Department and other security personnel patrolling the border posts.
Zimra commissioner-general Faith Mazani, referred questions to Tapiwa Manyika the director of loss control.
“If it’s about smuggling at Sango Border Post, can I refer you to the loss control director who handles staff integrity and investigations? You can also call Francis Chimanda.
“He is our head corporate communications,” Mazani said.
Manyika said he was not allowed to speak to the Press, while Chimanda promised to respond, but had not responded after several days of waiting for his comment.