Botswana re­futes visa regime claims

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Thu­peyo Mu­leya Beit­bridge Bu­reau

THE Govern­ment of Botswana has re­futed re­ports that it in­tends to close its mis­sion in Harare and in­tro­duce a visa regime for Zim­bab­weans wish­ing to travel to that coun­try.

So­cial me­dia has in the last few days been awash with news that Gaborone would close its mis­sion on Septem­ber 1 and also in­tro­duce visas.

“For Zim­bab­weans to ap­ply for a visa, they need to have; 270 Pula or $18 which is re­fund­able if the ap­pli­ca­tion is re­jected, a bank state­ment with at least 1 500 Pula or $100, Yel­low fever vac­ci­na­tion card, po­lice clear­ance, two pass­port size pho­to­graphs and an in­vi­ta­tion let­ter from Botswana,” read part of the false news.

Ac­cord­ing to the fake re­port pur­ported to have been au­thored by Kgo­motso Duma of Mmegi On­line, the new or­der would see Zim­bab­weans trav­el­ling to Zam­bia, Mozam­bique or South Africa to ap­ply for the said visas.

The story had been at­trib­uted to the Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs and Co­op­er­a­tion, Mr Pelonomi Ven­son-Moitoi.

Through its em­bassy in Harare, the Botswana govern­ment said in a me­dia state­ment yes­ter­day that the story was a hoax.

“We wish to cat­e­gor­i­cally re­fute this fab­ri­cated story, whose ori­gin re­mains a mys­tery,” read the state­ment.

“Hon. Min­is­ter Pelonomi Ven-

son-Moitoi was never re­cently in­ter­viewed by any re­porter on Botswana’s re­la­tions with Zim­babwe.

“Given the damn­ing na­ture of the story, the Min­istry queried the ori­gin of the story and in re­sponse the Mmegi News­pa­per un­equiv­o­cally dis­as­so­ci­ated it­self from the story.

“The Mmegi News­pa­per fur­ther dis­closed that they do not have any as­so­ci­a­tion with a re­porter by the name of Kgo­motso Duma.

“The Min­istry there­fore wishes to ad­vise the gen­eral public to dis­miss this story as it is a fig­ment of the au­thor’s imag­i­na­tion.

“Botswana and Zim­babwe con­tin­ues to en­joy ex­cel­lent re­la­tions.

“This has been clearly demon­strated

by the re­cent con­ven­ing of the Joint Per­ma­nent Com­mis­sion on De­fence and Se­cu­rity be­tween the two coun­tries in Gaborone, Botswana on 29th May to 2nd June 2017.”

Zim­babwe’s as­sis­tant re­gional im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cer in charge of west­ern re­gion, Mr Bless­ing Marwa, said the move­ment of peo­ple be­tween the two coun­tries had not changed.

The re­gion cov­ers Plumtree, Mpo­engs, Mait­engwe and Mlalm­baphele bor­ders.

Mr Marwa said they were han­dling an av­er­age of 70 000 peo­ple trav­el­ling into ei­ther coun­try per month, via the four ports.

He said at the mo­ment, Zim­bab­weans trav­el­ling to Botswana were al­lowed a stay for not more

than 90 days (free visa) per each cal­en­dar year.

“Please note that the cal­en­dar year starts on your first en­try day which may be in De­cem­ber or any other month,” said Mr Marwa. “In case you ex­haust your 90 days and wish to travel you ap­ply for more days at a pre­scribed fee.

“For the Tswana’s vis­it­ing Zim­babwe on hol­i­day, we grant them a 30 days stay per en­try. In ad­di­tion, they are al­lowed to ex­tend their stay twice for free at the near­est im­mi­gra­tion of­fice.

“Af­ter which they may ap­ply for an ex­ten­sion for a pre­scribed fee.”

Mr Marwa said Tswana’s trav­el­ling on busi­ness pur­poses were only granted a max­i­mum of 30 days and af­ter which they would be re­quired to ac­quire a per­mit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.