Zimbabwe set to buy drones to tackle border smuggling

State media said the purchase of drones worth over R28 million was now at an advanced stage. The drones will be used to help survey Zimbabwe's porous borders and curb smuggling.

FILE: Zimbabwean flag. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

HARARE - The Zimbabwe government said that it was soon going to purchase drones worth millions of rand to patrol its borders to prevent smuggling.

Zimbabwe shares borders with four neighbours, including the 225 kilometre-long border with South Africa.

State media said that the purchase of drones worth over R28 million was now at an advanced stage.

The drones will be used to help survey Zimbabwe's porous borders and curb smuggling.

Clothes, groceries and electronic goods are routinely smuggled across from Zimbabwe's four neighbours, especially South Africa, using illegal crossing points. The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce estimates that this is costing up to a billion rand per year in lost revenue.

In a sign of how audacious some smugglers have become, the private NewsDay reported on Monday that a wooden bridge had now been built across the Limpopo, upstream from Beitbridge, with border jumpers being charged between R10 and R100 to use it.

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