Govt set to reopen borders

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Blessings Mashaya

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

mashayab@dailynews.co.zw

THE government yesterday said it has decided to send a team of experts to all ports of entry to assess whether the country is ready to open its borders amid the continued decline in cases of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare last night, Covid-19 national taskforce chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the country was preparing to open its borders.

Most Zimbabweans are yearning for the re-opening of the Beitbridge border post as they intend to go and shop for the festive season in South Africa. The border is currently not open to the public, but business.

“Today (yesterday), we resolved to send a team to all ports of entry into the country to establish whether we are prepared to open up beyond just our airports. If we come up with a report which is scientific and protects Zimbabweans, we won’t hesitate to reopen the borders.

“I cannot give you the date until we are wholly satisfied. We will leave no stone unturned to protect our people,” Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Defence minister, said.

This comes after the government recently allowed the aviation industry to resume flights in and out of the country under strict Covid-19 prevention guidelines.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told the briefing that the country’s international airports were complying with Covid-19 measures.

“Cabinet was informed that since the re-opening of both domestic and international flights, port authorities are complying with Covid-19 guidelines and standard operating procedures for the safety of both airport staff and travellers. Airlines that have resumed flights to Zimbabwe include Rwanda Air, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates,” Mutsvangwa said.

She also said Cabinet had noted that prospects for the 2021 budget and beyond would be based on recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, resumption of global economic activity, a good agricultural season, and enhanced revenue collection.

“Economic revival will also hinge on sustainability of the foreign currency auction system, trade and tourism resumption, the materialisation of mining investment targets, and the firming of international mineral prices.

“It is also anticipated that domestic aggregate demand will recover, that currency stability will strengthen, and that annual inflation will decline,” Mutsvangwa said.

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