A three month-old baby has been deported from South Africa after she was abandoned by her mother while fleeing the South African Police.
The child, who has been named Vanessa, is now housed at a Save The Children shelter in Beitbridge.
This comes as there has been an increase in the number of minors being sent to back to Zimbabwe without parents or guardians. The police themselves say they are not responsible for deportations as their duty was only to arrest people and then hand them over to the Immigration Department. They added that if there were members of the police force deporting people, they were acting outside the law.
While the cases of deportation of minors are deplorable it must also be taken into account that there are scores of young children engaging in border-jumping, escaping the harsh conditions back home especially in the economically and socially neglected Matabeleland and Masvingo regions of the country. Many of these kids have no access to education or hope for the future and often end up using the services of Magumagumas to smuggle themselves across the border.
Of course, if they get caught, with no guardians, they will get deported.
This was highlighted in a documentary that appeared on Al-Jazeera under its Africa Investigates series. We have embeded the episode below. It is about 25 minutes long
If you can’t view it here, you can watch it on Youtube by clicking here