Beitbridge – Zimbabwe’s army was Friday deployed in the restive border town of Beitbridge where protesters angry about a new ban on imports set on fire a warehouse belonging to the state revenue authority, state radio reported.
Three people had been arrested by early Friday evening, according to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) report.
ZBC said the situation on the Zimbabwe side of the border had been “really volatile” earlier in the day.
Protesters “barricaded the road from the border post to the Masvingo turn-off (on the main road to Harare) and destroyed traffic lights. Sign posts and other infrastructure in the town were also destroyed,” said ZBC.
“Police are on the ground. The army as well is on the ground to ensure that peace prevails,” it added.
Protesters also massed on the South African side of the border early on Friday.
Traders are up in arms over the Zimbabwe government’s recent decision to limit imports from South Africa in what it says is a bid to boost the local economy.
Those wanting to bring in even basic goods like peanut butter, jam, body lotion and shoe polish have to get a permit to do so. They’re being threatened with a hefty fine if they arrive at the border with any of these goods but without a permit.