"Road to a greener pasture"
The government of nation unity brought about a rekindled hope that unemployment will be a thing of the past. I say it is not living up to expectations of the youth. Youths still risk their meaningless lives to being devoured by crocodiles in the Limpopo River and doing menial jobs in Botswana where they survive by dodging the constables with orange badges.
One is left wondering what this entire fiasco means. As a young person, I am concerned. The truth and reality on the ground contradicts with what “our” principals in the GNU say. I have none myself. They tell the world that all is fine. There is nothing fine comrades except that the police officers in the road blocks are getting Obama Dollars as bribes. They will get filthy rich like in the years of red earth,2007 to 2008. My discussion is on youth migration, illegal migration to be precise. President Mugabe and his ZANU PF said “All things are possible” in 2008, my foot. Where is the possibility? Morgan Tsvangirai’s disciples were chanting “Morgan for more”. I laugh loud when I reflect. At list A.G.O Mutambara promised nothing for even now he is contributing nothing. The two or say the three are in power, the two slogans meant hope to Zimbabweans whether from ZANU or MDC. From combined strength and truth Zimbabwe would be an African Super Power but alas.
Go on a field visit to Beitbridge. Pass by MSF clinics, get statistics from IOM. They will tell you why Matabeleland South has the highest HIV prevalence compared to the national statistics. Youths still take the risk of searching for greener pastures. Yes, Zimbabwe is still grey. Do you think those in exile can think of coming back. I only came back because I believe I was born to suffer.
To cross the border to Johannesburg one needs 2000 Rands in the pocket. This is illegal migration. Whether you are smuggled like cocaine in the trucks past the border or via the crocodile route. You must have this cash for yourself and “ompisi” those from the “Pasipemuti” migration office. It does not make sense to someone why one has to part with 2000 Rands when they can part with less and travel safe. A close friend of mine who works with IOM told me so. It prompted me to research, and this article is the product of that painful research.
Simple mathematics can prove that when;
Passport fee is $50 (Standard 3 months)
Transport to Johannesburg becomes 350 Rands
One needs 750 Rands to travel legally across the border.
When one gets an emergency passport it can add up to 1500 Rands.
Why do young people still take up the dangerous route? One may ask. Someone is sleeping at work. The government is not doing enough. It is shortchanging citizens to say. Most young people who are border jumping either do not have birth certificates or national identity cards. The next question can be, Why? It is a harsh job to get a national I.D in Zimbabwe. When you turn 18, you can be referred to Harare if you are disempowered by being a citizen of Matabeleland. This also goes with a fine. Some young people do not know their chiefs. This is automatic disqualification from the game. You must know your chief or fake your area of origin just to get an I.D. Above all, you must sleep in the queue and risk shootings that have taken centre stage in our country or being apprehended by ZRP for loitering or prostitution. It is a rough ride to get these documents. I understand that under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights that everyone is entitled to an identity even from birth. In paper everything looks hazy. Get to the ground. The taste of the pudding is in the eating for sure.
The government of the day has to make national documents accessible and affordable. They must not be a privilege of the few rich bodies and a dirty business. There is a lot of corruption going on in the registration offices that is public knowledge. The government officials are involved yet nothing is done. Young people suffer in that course hence they find themselves as invalid citizenry.
Zimbabwe is above 80% unemployment, almost 2 in every three citizens is living on illegal earnings or on an unknown source of income. The government of the day continues to tell the world in every summit that Zimbabwe is fine. It is not so true. The youths have not seen the promised Canaan. Maybe Tsvangirai has or Mutambara but we haven’t. If a parent accepts the fact that his/her child is changing clothes and eating good, without investigating the source of income. The parent is irresponsible. The government has to tell the world why Zimbabweans still flock to other countries without proper travel documents. In the course HIV spread rises, rape takes place, some are abused and others die yet the government does nothing. “This country has become a dangerous place to belong in because of the leaders who do nothing”. Linonifulu the great old man who is the Rubble Rouser in the Sunday News said,”It is bad table manners to talk while eating”. Everyone has a full mouth up there. They seem not interested to speak for they can be said to have bad table manners. Youths what is our take?