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    Sunday, 5 June 2016

    Immigration officers accuse Police of swarming border for bribes




    BEITBRIDGE BUREAU

    BEITBRIDGE
    - Police and Immigration officials have in the last few days openly clashed inside the Beitbridge border post with the latter accusing their Home Affairs colleagues of usurping their work for financial gains.
      "They (police) are making the border post their hunting ground and you find off-duty, retired, even some transferred policemen thronging the border post to solicit for bribes," said an immigration official who asked not to be named.
      He said immigration officers whose duty is to process the passage of travellers were custodians of the border post but were now being overcrowded by police "looking" for border jumpers and other offenders inside the border post.
      "They are usurping our roles, they are supposed to wait for us to bring people flouting immigration laws. It is not their responsibility here, they are abusing their station," said the official.
      He said some policemen in the guise of work facilitate human trafficking and singled out a senior cop who escorts vehicles carrying border jumpers.
      He also pointed a finger at two police reservists notorious for chasing shipping agents and small time vendors from the border post.
      "There is one who drives a black car with the President's (Mugabe) signature who is doing things at variance with the law" said the officer.
      "As immigration officers it reflects badly on us when border jumpers leave through the official point of departure."
      Dozens of plain clothes policemen swarm the border post on daily basis and some deployed themselves at the "hot spots" where they are notorious for demanding passports and Customs declaration forms.
      They should do that outside because offences of illegal departure or entry is only complete when someone has gone outside the official point without a document said the officer.
       "Not having a passport inside the border post is not a crime," the officer said.
      A customs official said smuggling was an offence only when a person has left the border post without declaring imports or exports.
      The Mirror on more than five different days this week witnessed senior immigration officers in the border post asking police officers to leave positions manned by immigration officers.
      Senior immigration officera at Beitbridge referred all questoons to their Harare head office.local news

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