Desperate Zim women resort to baby hiring

In a desperate attempt to survive, some Zimbabwean mothers living in exile are resorting to hiring out their children aged between six months and three years.
In South Africa, women carrying children on their backs and elderly women are served first.
"We can earn R250-&-R300

per baby for those wishing to carry a baby on their back in order to get sympathy and get served faster by the home affairs officials,” Sheila Mashayahama told CAJ News recently.
Another young mother, Rumbidzai Rukovo, said: “On a good day I can make up to R750 whilst during lean days I can get around R500. This is enough for me to look after my two kids. But now more and more women are turning to baby hiring.
“The problem is that unemployed South African men, raid us at night. If you are not luck, they take all your money and belongings”.
The thousands of Zimbabweans crossing daily into South Africa end up spending more than 14 sleepless nights queuing for the precious asylum permit papers at Marabastad Department of Home Affairs – many without success.
Marabastad is the only Refugee Reception Centre in South Africa currently issuing asylum permit papers and refugee status to refugees and asylum seekers. The offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town only renew permits.
The centralization of issuing papers by the SA government has created dreadful hardship for Zimbabwean, especially women, many of whom have fallen victim to armed robbers, thieves and rapists.
SAPS officers were witnessed first-hand by CAJ News last week driving past a group of young mothers being mugged by robbers at Marabastad.
South African Home Affairs Portfolio Committee Chairperson and Member of Parliament (MP), Patrick Chauke, has deplored the situation at Marabastad.
His committee took officials by surprise when they visited several departments of Home Affairs in Gauteng.
“The portfolio committee will discuss the response of the Department at its next meeting to be held on 21 August 2007 with Minister and the Director General,” said Chauke. – CAJ News

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