By ANDREW MUKOMA
FOLLOWING the reopening of the Victoria Falls border post between Zambia and Zimbabwe by that country’s government two weeks ago, cross border and tourism activities have resumed. Since the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic in 2019, travel into and out of Zimbabwe through the Victoria Falls border post were limited, allowing only the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods as well as emergency medical issues.
The decision consequently affected cross border trade between the two border countries. Cross border trade was now thriving with both countries registering a number of citizens crossing in and out for a number of business opportunities. However, a host of new interventions to curb any possible spread of the pandemic are being implemented by both countries. According to authorities in Victoria Falls City, border was reopened to promote tourism and cross border activities as some traders had begun to complain of starvation.
A check by the Daily Nation at the Victoria Falls border post on the Zambian side, showed that cross border activities were running normally but under strict health protocols. Some traders interviewed said they were able to cross into Zimbabwe and do business while their counterparts were similarly doing the same. But for the tourism aspect, Zimbabwe has reopened the Victoria Falls border with Zambia for fully vaccinated tourists.
The development follows the successful rollout of a Covid-19 vaccination programme that has seen more than 60 percent of residents in the border town of Victoria Falls being inoculated. However, despite the reopening of tourist activities in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe remains under Level 4 lockdown and other land borders remain closed.