Some Zimbabweans have started to make the trek out of the country after recent disputed election and widespread skepticism that the struggling economy and hyper-inflation can be turned around soon.
Wellington Chitembu, 43, told TimesLIVE he is leaving because he wants to improve the lives of his children.
“We are suffering. I have three children and l am struggling to look after them. I can’t pay their school fees and l can’t afford to put food on the table. Life has been very difficult and I thought the election was going to bring change, hope for the future, but it’s just another disputed election.
“I have never been so certain about leaving Zimbabwe as l am now. I am a civil servant and my salary is barely enough to look after my family.
“I am leaving for dignity because as a man l should be able to look after my family and give them a better life. I want to rid my family of this poverty. I have family members in South Africa, I want a good future for my children and across the border l am certain l will find it,” said Chitembu.
Tererayi Chisomba, 34, a mother of two, said she plans to leave for the UK to find employment in care work.
“I have held on until now and no longer can. I have to leave. There is no future here. I wake up every day feeling hopeless. I want to give a good life to my little girls, but if l remain in this country it won’t happen,” she said.
“I have a university degree, but I am going to the UK as a care worker. I am selling everything, including household furniture, and borrowing money from relatives to raise for the visa fees and air tickets. Whatever it takes, I am leaving.”
Margaret, 28, who wanted to use only her first name because she doesn’t have a passport or a final destination, said she will go where she can find work.
“There is no life in Zimbabwe. I have never had a job. l am leaving because l want to be able to look after myself. My parents are struggling and l can’t continue to put a burden on them to look after me and my siblings. It’s better to go, find a job and send money back to my parents.
“I have a friend in South Africa and she lives somewhere in Johannesburg. She told me if I come she will help me look for a job. I know going without papers or a passport is dangerous, but l am willing take my chances. I will go through the Limpopo River, risking my life to the crocodiles and police.”