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Analysts: Border Protests Will Cripple Cash-Strapped Zimbabwe

  • Chris Gande

People milling around the Beitbridge border post in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland South province.

People milling around the Beitbridge border post in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland South province.

The Beitbridge border post remained a ghost of itself on Tuesday on the second day of a protest against an import ban on some goods with shops and other businesses closing down on either side of the border post.

South African police again Tuesday dispersed protesters who had gathered on the Musina border post to put pressure on Zimbabwean authorities to reverse the ban.

The protesters say they will continue calling for a boycott of commercial activities at the country’s border posts until the authorities back down.

One of the organizers of the protest Dennis Juru of the International Crossborders’ Association told Studio 7 that haulage truck drivers are pleading with them to lift the blockade so that they resume work.

Said Juru: “At the moment the border is quite because normally you find queues right up to the weigh bridge.”

Meanwhile, analysts say the protest at the border post will have a negative impact on Zimbabwe’s attempts to generate revenue for national fiscal purposes, including the payment of civil servants’ salaries, which it has been failing to pay on time.

Due to the closure of companies and the lack of investor confidence on the country the government is heavily relying on revenue generated from its borders, especially Beitbridge, one of the busiest border crossings in the sub-region.

For perspective Studio 7 reached economic commentator, Masimba Kuchera, who said civil servants’ salaries will be heavily impacted by inactivity at the border.

“Well it’s going to have a massive impact, look, the impact may not be felt immediately because the revenue is tallied every month. We know that in the past few months the government has been failing to meet its target,” said Kuchera.