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Police beef up security along closed Matsiloje border

CHAKALISA DUBE
Matsiloje border post
FRANCISTOWN: Police have said that they have beefed up security along the Matsiloje border, which separates Zimbabwe and Botswana.

The border closed early this week as a measure to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Zimbabwe has so far registered two cases of coronavirus. The other victim of the virus has since died. The recent case in Zimbabwe has sparked fears that the virus might spread to Botswana. 

“Since Friday we have been patrolling the borderline within the village and I can assure the public that everything is in control at the moment within our policing area,” superintendent Charles Mbengwa, station commander at Matsiloje police station, said. 

He added, “We have the police, soldiers and members of the Special Support Group (SSG) working together to police the borderline. Since we moved from guarding the entry point to patrolling the borderline we have not received any cases related to crossing into or out of the country illegally.” 

Mbengwa said that patrols along

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the borderline are carried out 24 hours. 

“We have also been constantly educating members of the public in Matsiloje and surrounding areas about the importance of not crossing the border illegally at this point in time and they have responded positively. The education is meant to beef up what is already being preached by government in a bid to contain the virus,” Mbengwa said. 

Many people often cross informally between Zimbabwe and Botswana, a development, which some believe can fuel the spread of coronavirus. In fact, the border is said to be one of the most porous in the country. 

The closure of the border raised fears that more people might attempt to illegally cross between the two countries (Zimbabwe and Botswana).

Both Botswana and Zimbabwe this week announced a series of coronavirus fighting initiatives, which came into force with immediate effect.



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