Zimbabwe, Mozambique experience border tensions

Harare – According to Zimbabwe’s vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, security services, including the army, are on alert along the eastern border after a man was abducted from his village and later killed in Mozambique.

There have been other skirmishes along the border with armed bandits who Mnangagwa said were loyal to the Renamo party which has long had strength along this part of the border area, about 80kms south of provincial capital, Mutare.

The dead man who was abducted has not yet been identified, but in a separate incident, about 50 cattle were taken from small farmers and pushed across the border.

He said some of the cattle had been recovered. “Some people have been invited to identify their cattle,” Mnangagwa said and explained that provincial security service leaders of both countries met this week to discuss the escalation of cross border incidents and rising tension.

The Zimbabwe National Army was paid its December salaries on Wednesday this week, two weeks later then usual, although no civil service salary runs have been on time so far this year.

Zimbabweans were also crossing over the border illegally to buy groceries and fuel, as the value of the Meticais has plummeted against the US dollar, the currency used in Zimbabwe.

As a result, groceries and fuel were much cheaper in Mozambique than in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabweans have been using the high value US dollar since the Zimbabwe dollar disappeared in 2009 after years of hyperinflation.

Mnangagwa is acting president of Zimbabwe while President Robert Mugabe and his family have gone on their annual holiday to Dubai.

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