The Zimbabwe Sentinel-Media Centre

Telling the other story – MEDIA CENTRE


Poverty, Child Pregnancies Killing Young Girls Dreams in Matebeleland South Province

By Rumbidzai Zijena

A number of girls from poor families living in marginalized areas around the country are dropping out of school every term after falling pregnant.

Poverty has left them vulnerable to sex predators who promise to rescue them from their financial challenges.

Although child pregnancy is rampant all over the country, recent reports have identified the Matabeleland regions as the most affected– especially in rural areas where the majority folk wallow in poverty.

A number of men from rural areas such as Tsholotsho District cross the border to nearby Botswana and South Africa where they usually return during the festive season.’

It is during this same period when some school-going teenagers fall pregnant to the so-called injiva/amalayitsha.

Although these men bring back groceries and Christmas goodies for their families, there is however, less to smile about for girls who are left nursing unwanted pregnancies.

Such goodies brought from outside the country are used as bait to lure teenagers into sex with them.

The headmaster of Gwanda High School in Matabeleland South recently revealed during the school’s prize-giving day that 10 girls dropped out of school this year after falling pregnant — a shocking statistic that calls for policy intervention to curb the problem.

A single mother identified as Thabiso Muleya (19) narrated a similar story about how she dropped out of school after being lured into sex by the now father of  her daughter who worked in South Africa.

“ I left school three years ago when I was doing my Form Three. I could not continue with my education because I had to look after my child. He (father of the child) promised to marry me, but never came back from South Africa.” She said.

In another similar situation reported in the mainstream media recently, a 15-year-old girl in Bulawayo gave birth to a baby boy at the school premises.

Although the man behind the pregnancy remains unknown, it is one of the incidents where migrant workers impregnate young girls, promising them better lives, before fleeing to South Africa where they remain silent for many years.

The Tsholotsho Rural District Hospital’s Labour Ward revealed during a government official visit that the month of October  is the busiest every year in women giving birth.

The hospital staff told government officials that on monthly average, they get about 130 births, but the number shockingly sky-rockets to about 300 births in months, September and October going forward.

“It is during the last three months of the year that we marshal all our resources and theatre consumables in hospitals to match the demand. At this time of the year we always ensure that doctors are always on stand-by for complications that may arise” Matabeleland North provincial medical director Nyasha Masuka said.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chief Editor: Earnest Mudzengi Content Editor: Willie Gwatimba