ABOUT 20 Zambians aboard a CR Carriers bus were on Friday denied entry into South Africa by that country’s immigration authorities on grounds that they had fake yellow fever vaccination certificates.
CR Carriers director in South Africa Mafire Cisoko said only 10 out of 30 passengers were allowed to enter that country after their yellow fever vaccination certificates were subjected to rigorous scrutiny by immigration officers at Beit Bridge.
This is according to a statement issued yesterday by first secretary for press at the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria, Patson Chilemba.
Mr Cisoko said South African immigration authorities intensified searches after being tipped by an unnamed source that the certificates which Zambians had were fake because they were not obtained from government authorised health institutions.
He said the officers believed authentic certificates were dark-yellow, while the fake ones were light-yellow.
The bus on which Zambians were travelling was nearly sent back, but was later allowed entry after operators intervened, but with few passengers who got clearance at the border.
The stranded passengers were scheduled to return home after CR Carriers made fresh arrangements for another bus.
And Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa Muyeba Chikonde has cautioned Zambians wishing to travel to that country to ensure they get their yellow fever vaccinations to avoid being sent back at the border.
Mr Chikonde said it is a requirement for Zambians intending to travel to South Africa to ensure they carry authentic yellow fever certificates from government health institutions.
He said the South African government through its Department of Health reviewed its yellow fever vaccination policy which became effective in October last year.
All travellers from Zambia and other yellow fever risk countries will now be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination, unless in possession of valid waiver certificates.
South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all persons above one year, travelling from a yellow fever risk country.
[Zambia Daily Mail]