PLUMTREE — Villagers in Bulilima West constituency are living in fear of contracting the coronavirus as border jumpers and illegal fuel dealers use unauthorised entry points to get into the country from Botswana.
The border jumpers take advantage of lack of a perimeter fence in village 13, which borders Botswana.
This was revealed by village 13 clinic’s nurse-in-charge Mgcini Lemu Ncube during a tour of the facility on Friday by Bulilima West Member of Parliament Dingumuzi Phuti and Bulilima Rural District Council CEO John Brown Ncube to assess the state of preparedness of the clinics in the district to fight the spread of Covid-19.
“As a clinic, we are hands-on and ready to attend to any suspected coronavirus cases as we have identified an isolation room, set up hand washing points and also spread out the messages about the pandemic to the community we serve, which is over
4 000 people,” Lemu Ncube.
However, Lemu Ncube said they were worried about border jumpers and villagers, who were selling fuel they were buying from Botswana.
“The challenge we are facing is that there are border jumpers coming into the country who are not tested upon entry as they use illegal points of entry,” he said.
“There are also villagers, who are illegally selling fuel and the commodity is sourced from Botswana using the same illegal points of entry.”
Brown Ncube said the border between Zimbabwe and Botswana had become porous after the perimeter fence was stolen.
“The perimeter fence was stolen and the same also applies to the one at the game park which has also caused human and wildlife conflict,” said Ncube, adding that the perimeter fence needed to be replaced.
Phuti said he would relay the message to relevant authorities to ensure that the issue was dealt with.
Matabalelend South province is yet to record a Covid-19 case, but a woman who returned from Botswana recently through the Plumtree border post tested positive for the flu-like disease. — CITE