The lockdown restrictions in Zimbabwe due to COVID-19 has drastically reduced the number of cross border movements. As of 10 December 2020, Zimbabwe had 11,081 confirmed cases, including 9,253 recoveries and 305 deaths. As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners in health recognized a need to understand the impact mobility within and across borders can potentially have on controlling the spread of the virus. To support these activities, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is working closely with the local government of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Health, and the Immigration Department to support the government of Zimbabwe and other key partners with regards to understanding migration flows, as well as to respond to the outbreak in a way that is sensitive to current and emerging migration and mobility realities in multiple regions in Zimbabwe.
Plumtree Border Post is the main crossing point between Zimbabwe and Botswana. People travelling from South Africa’s Mafikeng also pass through this border. Mangwe district holds a particular significance for a greater understanding of mobility trends and migration practices. Located 542 km to the West of the capital of Zimbabwe. On average, the numbers crossing through the Plumtree main border post has dropped from 5,500 to 500 persons a day due to COVID-19.