Children forced to beg at road intersections

Source: Children forced to beg at road intersections – DailyNews Live

Helen Kadirire      9 July 2017

HARARE – As the economy continues to bite the dust, more and more children
in and around Harare are being forced to beg from motorists at road

Some of the children will be carrying family siblings on their back as
they dangerously move, bowel in hand, between moving vehicles.

At the traffic lights by Simon Mazorodze and Remembrance Drive, small boys
take turns to beg for loose change from kombi drivers.

Tapiwa (not real name) has been a regular at the traffic intersection for
the past two years after he left his rural home in Mutoko.

He said he came to Harare on a truck that was travelling to Mbare Musika
to sell tomatoes and has never returned since.

“Sometimes the money we collect is taken away from us by the older boys
who we stay with along Mukuvisi River in Mbare. But most of the times we
buy cheap glue or musombodhiya. Some have bosses who demand that they
bring a certain amount of money every day, either through begging or
smashing into cars,” he said.

According to the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2017, Zimbabwe has
been identified as a source, transit and destination for men, women and
children trafficked for sex and forced labour.

The United States placed Zimbabwe in the second tier watch list, as
government had yet to fully comply with statutes against human

“As reported over the past five years, Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and
destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex
trafficking and forced labour. Family members recruit children and other
relatives from rural areas for work in cities where they are often
subjected to domestic servitude or other forms of forced labour; some
children, particularly orphans, are lured with promises of education or

“Reports indicate that adults have recruited girls for child sex
trafficking in Victoria Falls. Children are subjected to forced labour in
the agricultural and mining sectors and are forced to carry out illegal
activities, including drug smuggling.

There were increased reports of children from Mozambique being subjected
to forced labour in street vending in Zimbabwe, including in Mbare.

Additionally, the practice of ngozi, giving a family member to another
family to avenge the spirits of a murdered relative, creates vulnerability
to trafficking,” read part of the report.

It also indicated that men, women, and children, predominantly from East
Africa, are transported through Zimbabwe en route to South Africa; some of
these migrants are trafficking victims.

TIP 2017 also noted that refugees from Somalia and Democratic Republic of
the Congo reportedly travel from Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge to
Harare, where they are exploited and forced into prostitution.

“Chinese nationals are reportedly forced to labour in restaurants in
Zimbabwe. Chinese construction and mining companies in Zimbabwe reportedly
employ practices indicative of forced labour, including verbal, physical,
and sexual abuse, and various means of coercion to induce work in unsafe
or otherwise undesirable conditions,” read part of the report.

National director of the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of
Children Taylor Nyanhete told the Daily News on Sunday that during a
child’s developmental milestones they are faced with a number of
challenges which require specific attention.

He said because there are many orphans and child-headed families, these
children require not only food but also shelter, clothing, healthcare,
education, access to registration.

Nyanhete added that as resources are the key driver to having many
challenges addressed, a budget should be allocated that deals with
problems faced by vulnerable children.

“We are having an increase of child beggars on the street, these children
remain exposed to various forms of abuse whilst on the streets. The reason
why they are on the streets is because there is no source of income to
sustain their families and on the other side government has no budget to
meet the needs of these children,” Nyanhete said.

“Most vulnerable children are taken advantage of mainly because they are
looking forward to receive a certain reward to sustain their lives. We
should as well strengthen our child protection systems to be able to
respond to abuse of children timeously and effectively.”


  • comment-avatar
    Doris 5 years ago

    Man I love the standard of reporting in this country! “Children move among the traffic BOWEL in hand!

    But the tragedy seems to be that they are begging to aid their drug habit. There are kids on the Borrowdale road who have been there for years, at the Celebration Centre lights, who are openly sniffing glue, smoking mbanje, and begging for money. They have refused help to enable them to go to school, and often are seen with an adult handing over any cash they have. The police and welfare services say there is nothing they can do. What about Graces orphanage?