BEITBRIDGE – A SOLDIER fired shots in the air to disperse a group of impatient cross border transporters – commonly known as omalayitsha – to rescue a ZIMRA officer who was under siege, ZimLive has reported.
Just two ZIMRA officers had been deployed on duties to check goods at a zinc shade reserved for omalayitsha – and the queue had built up to the Limpopo bridge, almost two kilometers long.
The slow pace of clearing by the customs officials infuriated the drivers, numbering more than 50, who left their cars and went to confront the ZIMRA officers.
A witness who witnessed the incident at around 1PM told ZimLive.com by phone: “They basically surrounded one ZIMRA officer and were manhandling him. He was a bit rude unfortunately as well, which did not help matters.
“One soldier on guard duties at the border told the drivers to disperse a few times and when he was ignored, he fired three shots in the air and people scattered.”
Service at the border is notoriously slow, and omalayitsha – who move people and goods between South Africa and Zimbabwe on trailers – are the most affected as they have to declare goods before being allowed to cross.