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Tight security at Victoria Falls Airport

The Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) has tightened security at the Victoria Falls International Airport to ensure the safety of passengers and its staff.

This comes after Fastjet Airline on Friday, 01 March notified authorities of an email that it received from one John Doe claiming a credible bomb/firearm threat to Zimbabwean airports.

Following the warning, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s flight aborted its landing in Victoria Falls where he was scheduled to address a business conference.

A 26-year-old South African national, Cuan Reed Govender, was arrested and later fined US$300 after he was found in possession of some bullets at the Robert Mugabe International Airport on the day the email from John Doe referring to bombs was sent.

The following day (02 March), a 36-year-old Malaysian national, Lucy Kabethi Wanjiku was arrested at the Victoria Falls International Airport after she was found in possession of a live bullet.

In a statement to stakeholders, Victoria Falls Airport’s acting airport manager Vupenyu Shava, said:

In response to a bomb and firearm threat that was received on 1 March 2024, the Airports Company of Zimbabwe Private Limited has deemed it necessary to take immediate action to ensure the safety and security of both passengers and airport personnel.

Consequently, the company has decided to implement heightened security measures to level three (3), which is significantly higher than the normal baseline level.

These additional measures have been put in place to mitigate any potential risks to create a secure environment within the airport premises.

Only travelling passengers and airport staff are allowed into the terminal building and there will be strict access control at the Main Entrance, with all staff required to display passes at all times.

Shava said the front drop-off and pick-up zone of the International Terminal Building would also be temporarily sealed off.

He said there would be a secondary screening of passengers at the Boarding Gate, a physical search of all checked baggage and increased police presence in the Terminal Building.

Shava said no unaccompanied and mishandled baggage will be allowed while passenger luggage should be shrink-wrapped after physical searches have been carried out.

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