Human smuggling remains rife at the Beitbridge border post as Zimbabweans based in neighbouring South Africa shuttle between home and their places of work.
So desperate is the situation that even children, have become victims of human smuggling as they cross to visit their parents in South Africa especially during the school holidays.
This came out during a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services sitting in Beitbridge.
In her presentation Mrs Memory Mgwagwa, The Assistant Regional Immigration Officer for Beitbridge said contrary to the notion that human trafficking is rife in Beitbridge; the challenge is human smuggling which is a result of the checked system in issuing travel documents in the country.
“There is no human trafficking in Beitbridge, it’s human smuggling where people especially children who fail to access travel documents cross illegally to South Africa to join family members, so this could be addressed by issuing travel documents to people on time so that they use designated crossing points,” she said.
There is realisation that some people with travel documents sometimes evade border officials to save space in their documents given the time it takes to process these documents.