Crocodiles mauling border jumpers an indictment


REPORTS that some bodies of border jumpers retrieved from the Limpopo River had been partially eaten by crocodiles makes sad reading.

South African and Zimbabwean police retrieved 17 bodies of people who died while trying to cross the flooded river to search for elusive jobs in the neighbouring country.

Thousands of desperate Zimbabweans try to escape the collapsing economy everyday to seek menial jobs in South Africa’s mines, farms and homes.

Police in Beitbridge say they are recording an upsurge in the number of people trying to cross the border illegally and smuggling.

There are reports that desperate people pay as much as $150 to gangs that operate along the border who assist them to cross the crocodile-infested Limpopo River.

The tragedy is happening exactly eight months after President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF won a landslide victory in elections where Zimbabweans were told were crucial for an economic turnaround.

Mugabe and his party at the time blamed everything that was going on including the stagnant economy on the inclusive government.

However, despite getting the mandate to rule alone, the president and Zanu PF have not shown any urgency in resolving the economic malaise.

The government’s business-as-usual approach to the economy has drained all hope Zimbabweans had of a quick turnaround hence the irregular migration that at times ends in tragedy.

Zimbabweans are now desperate and would go to any lengths to put food on the table for their families.

Just a few weeks ago 23 Zimbabweans died at a disused mine near Johannesburg amid indications that more could have perished underground and their bodies could not be retrieved.

The same scenario has played out in the Limpopo River tragedy and if our leaders cannot be cajoled by these incidents into acting on the economy, then nothing will.

People drowning in their numbers in crocodile infested rivers and others suffocating in disused mines away from home is the worst indictment on the Zimbabwean government that it has failed.