Call for the scrapping of Covid-19 certificates at border posts

The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa has called for the scrapping of the requirement for cross border travellers to present Covid-19 free certificates before being allowed passage at the border posts on the grounds the regulation promotes corruption.

As part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, both the Zimbabwean and South African government require that people who intend to pass through their borders should be in possession of certificates which indicate they tested negative for the pandemic.

For example, a PCR Covid-19 test in Zimbabwe costs US$60, which is beyond the reach of many, creating room for fake certificates.

Just recently police in the country arrested two people at Chirundu Border Post for originating fake Covid-19 certificates

The police confiscated more than 300 blank stamped fake Covid-19 certificates, which were meant to be sold to travellers intending to cross into Zambia.

“While preventing the spread of the pandemic is necessary and must be enforced, we think the test certificates may prove to be a shot in the foot,” spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, Bongani Mazwi Mkwananzi, told CITE.

“We have received reports that some are getting fake test certificates which goes against the prevention of the spread. Chances are some will get away with this or ferment corruption at the borders.”

Mkwananzi said authorities should instead use other measures to control movement across borders and not Covid-19 free certificates which in some cases do not achieve their intended purpose.

“Government could use the preliminary screening where temperature and exposure screening are done, as is done at restaurants and other facilities,” he suggested.

“This may help ease the movement and reduce congestion at the border which in itself may lead the spread.”

Meanwhile, Mkwananzi said the year 2020 has been a hard one for Zimbabweans based south of the Limpopo.

“The year 2020 has been a very difficult year,” he decried.

“Many lost jobs, many are still owing rentals, and food security came out to be a big challenge. As we look into the coming years, we must start to act in unison to address these challenges.”

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