Zimbabwe’s land borders have been closed for months following the advent of the third wave. The Zimbabwean government has however been slowly reopening as the third wave appears to be subsiding. Recently the government allowed pubs, bars and nightclubs to reopen. They also announced that they were planning to reopen the country’s land borders to travellers soon. It’s news that has brought much-needed cheer in border towns like Kariba and Beitbridge.

We have three borders, which are Victoria Falls, Kazungula and Pandamatenga.

The closing of these borders affected us severely as business is slow. The reopening of these borders will boost our tourism industry as it is our sole industry and this will create employment.

People used to get medical treatment in Zambia since their nearest hospitals are in Livingstone, but they could no longer do so due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Somveli Dlamini, Victoria Falls’s mayor

The Victoria Falls’s mayors sentiments were echoed by Loud Ramakgapola who is a town clerk in Beitbridge. He expressed happiness and relief that the Beitbridge border would be reopened soon. The southern town has been hard hit by the lockdown. A lot of people had resorted to smuggling goods across the Limpopo and running away from the authorities. It’s a task that was about to get harder and dangerous with the rains expected soon.

Currently, only the Victoria Falls and Kazungula border posts were open. This was only to tourists following a partial reopening last month. Those tourists that were allowed through needed to have vaccination certificates to prove that they had been fully vaccinated.