Police has blocked a large meeting that was supposed to be
held at Dulibadzimu Stadium to register Beitbridge residents’ discontent over
the high toll fees charged at the border post.
The meeting which was supposed to take place on Monday last
week is spearheaded by Tavingei Mahachi who is the chairman of the Cross Border
Association and also councillor for Ward 1 in Beitbridge. Those expected to
attend the meeting were residents of Beitbridge wards 1 to 6.
The purpose of the meeting was to lobby Government to
review toll fees charged by Zimborder Consortium, a company that constructed
the US$300 million modern border recently commissioned by President Emmerson
Two Nations is in possession of a letter signed by Chief
Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo who is the Officer Commanding Beitbridge. The
letter says that Police will not facilitate the meeting.
The key complaint to Government is that Beitbridge’s
residents’ economic mainstay is buying commodities in South Africa for resale.
The residents therefore make frequent visits across the border and sometimes
daily in order to make a living.
The new hiked fees by Zimborders has therefore stuffed this
activity as no one can partake and make profit. Zimborders is charging US$40
compared to US$20 before the commissioning of the border post.
“We are appealing to Government and Zimborders Consortium
to exempt Beitbridge residents from the exorbitant toll fees so that people
here can at least have a source of living. This town is a cross border town; it
thrives on that business. Without cross border activities by residents here
there will be no Beitbridge Town,” said Mahachi.
Residents therefore gave Mahachi the mandate to approach
the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development with the issue.
He also emphasized the issue of cross border relations for
the people of Matebeleland South and Limpopo Provinces.
Beitbridge Mayor Munyaradzi Chitsunge said that he was
driving when Two Nations contacted him for comment. Masvingo Mirror