8 January 2007

Zimbabwe: Anti-Drowning Drive

Harare — POLICE in Matabeleland South have embarked on an anti-drowning campaign to discourage people from crossing flooded rivers.

Acting provincial police spokesman Asst. Insp. Trust Ndlovu last week said the programme was aimed at border jumpers who usually cross flooded rivers especially at this time of the year.

"We are in the midst of the rainy season where most rivers are normally flooded and we therefore urge people to save their lives," he said.

He said border jumpers who cross the Ramaqwebana River into Botswana and the Limpopo River into South Africa risked drowning.

Highly motorised members of the police are now moving around border towns in the province urging would-be border jumpers and other members of the public to stay away from flooded rivers.

A number of border jumpers are already stranded in Beitbridge following the flooding of the Limpopo River.

However, a few border jumpers are still crossing the flooded river, risking drowning or death in the jaws of a crocodile.

The provincial spokesman also warned that police were on the alert for illegal migrants.

Zimbabweans working illegally in South Africa and Botswana normally use unofficial crossing points when returning home or going back to their bases.

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