Zimbabwe and Botswana conduct joint border patrols

By Tichaona Kurewa

THE on-going joint border patrols between Zimbabwe and Botswana have started paying off with cattle being recovered on both sides of the border.

The third session of the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) held in Victoria Falls in February this year resolved among other things to intensify joint patrols in border lying areas of Matabeleland North and South.

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi gave an update on the ground that has been covered so far.

“That’s why you find that recently we had joint patrols in Matabeleland North between Zimbabwe police services and the Botswana police services, specifically Victoria Falls police district and Kasane police district. This is going to continue in the foreseeable future. So far, we have recovered cattle stolen from Botswana and cattle stolen from Zimbabwe which has been recovered and there are collaboration between the two police services in terms of conducting investigations, in terms of identifying the suspects and also linking the complainants with the investigations,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.

Tourism players, livestock farmers and business people welcomed the swift response by law enforcement agents, highlighting that the move will improve Zimbabwe’s status as a safe tourist and investment destination.

“Any visitor to a place considers the security situation first before they pack their bags to travel. So, a crime free country attracts both foreign direct investors and tourists to the country as they are assured of a safe stay whilst they engage in their business or leisure. And Zimbabwe is a renowned safe traveler destination,” a cattle farmer said.

“We as business people appreciate such gestures. Let the patrols continue as they are ideal for economic development,” said a business player.

A tourism player said, “It is good news for us livestock farmers, cattle resulting will decline.”

Security expert, Mr Rolland Makaure weighed in outlining the significance of the joint patrols.

“It fosters good relations between sister security forces, enhances understanding on crime intelligence, it removes suspicion on each other and cultivates trust in the process. This will lead to the eradication of illegal cross border activities e.g smuggling as well as drug and human trafficking,” he said.

The rate of Crime is among key indicators that influence decisions made by travelers and investors hence the recent move has been cited as a step in the right direction in promoting destination Zimbabwe.