We received the account below from a contact in South Africa who is in touch with the Zimbabwean who wrote it. This adds to other reports indicating that the situation is dire for Zimbabweans who feel stuck under a lockdown where they are not recognised by the authorities and therefore can not benefit from food aid during the lockdown.
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Here’s the account in full:
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Zimbabweans who living in South Africa are experiencing hard times with the corina virus. The main problem that we are facing is hunger. Most of the Zimbabweans they do self jobs. Even those who are working are also facing hard times. I am also one of those who do self job.
As all the hardware shops are closed and our customers cannot buy building materials so that may you can do something to bring food on the table. On the other side our customers are also hit by this lockdown, they are also struggling with life. We are trying to look for someone who can help with food parcels.
Those who are employed are also facing the same problems as those who do self job. Most of the companies that employ foreigners are not paying them according to what the government said. They take advantage. When I asked one Zimbabwean about going home, he said the same because at home there is lockdown also so it’s a case of nowhere to run, it’s better to stay here.
The other challenge that the lockdown is going affect rents. I don’t how many home owners who are going to understand this situation we are facing. We will are worried about how long this lockdown is going to remain in place.
The government of Zimbabwe is reportedly planning to repatriate citizens and permanent residents who could not return from South Africa due to lockdowns, however, as the account above shows, some Zimbabweans do not consider coming back home as a better option.