Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has put cross border truckers under scrutiny amid allegations that they are embarking on smuggling activities and transporting people across cities in violation of travelling and lock-down level two regulations.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police recently issued a statement noting that truckers were now in the forefront of illegal activities hence the move by police to enhance stop and search measures.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said while they noted the important role played by truckers in the transporting of essential goods, there was a need to weed out the few bad apples.
The Minister noted that with the high number of returnees into the country and truckers testing positive of the Covid-19 pandemic the government will soon be availing guidelines for mandatory testing of all truck drivers.
“”While acknowledging the critical role played by truck drivers in the movement of cargo across borders and between cities, Cabinet noted with concern that most truck drivers are testing positive for COVID-19, yet they are now responsible for the illegal movement of passengers between cities.
“Cabinet agreed that truck drivers found carrying passengers without authorisation be penalised and that truck drivers should be educated on regulations governing their operations in Zimbabwe at the borders,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Meanwhile, as a means of enhancing security at quarantine centres in the country the Minister revealed that they had since identified 10 centres for use by returning ex-convicts and people of a violent disposition.
“Improvements are being made to the centres in order for them to meet the requisite security standards. Law enforcement agents are also in the process of beefing up security at the centres in order to curtail incidents of absconding,” said the Minister.