ZIMBABWE’s biggest border post and gate-way to South Africa, its largest trading partner Beit-bridge was early Friday forced to shut-down after ordinary people in the border town took to the streets to protest government’s ban on imports.
South Africans from just across the border according to reports filtering in have joined in the picketing that has brought traffic to a stand-still with trucks trying to cross between the two countries reportedly being stopped.
“People are protesting against this because our livelihoods have been affected. Importing foodstuffs from South Africa is our only source of income because Zimbabwe’s government has failed not only to revive industry but to provide jobs,” said a source from Beit-bridge. “There is chaos and the likelihood of violence is high”.
As part of measures to deal with a sinking economy and crippling cash shortages as well as dwindling exports, President Robert Mugabe’s government announced a ban on a range of products mainly imported from his country’s southern neighbor.