HomeNewsPolice, army restore sanity in Beitbridge

Police, army restore sanity in Beitbridge

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BY REX MPHISA

THE Beitbridge Border Post chaos that dominated news headlines worldwide in the last week ended yesterday as the last in the long queue of south-bound vehicles were cleared into South Africa.

This happened as the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe National Army descended on Beitbridge to restore order.

It was unclear why police descended with such force near the border, where hundreds of travellers awaited their turn after days in the queue.

The brutal force seemingly targeted vendors who capitalised on the stranded travellers to sell food, beverages and water under the scorching sun.

Elsewhere around the border town, police and the military deployed on Wednesday caused pandemonium as they assaulted and arrested people, some of them residents allegedly for breaking COVID-19 strict rules.

Some clearing agents who clear vehicles carrying essential goods were not spared as they were harassed and bundled into police trucks to pay fines.

Scores of residents and travellers were caught up in the melee.

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveless Mangena referred questions to her bosses in Harare.

The officer commanding Beitbridge Police District Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said he was not aware a new team of soldiers had been dispatched to Beitbridge.

“I only know of the police for whom I assigned Inspector Barikano,” he said.

NewsDay Weekender understands that soldiers who had been stationed at the border were told to leave when new troops arrived.

Yesterday, an Airforce of Zimbabwe helicopter spent the day circling over the border town as if to exhibit presence of the new security forces.

At the border, regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge Nqobile Ncube said the “storm” was over.

“It is done and dusted. The strategy to clear buses paid well and we are over the hill,” he said.

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